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The EU highlights the Importance of Public Participation and Transparency in the Implementation of Energy Policy
04.03.2016
On the initiative of the Institute for Energy and Transport of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC-IET) on February 25-26, an international working meeting on public participation and transparency in the European energy policy was held in Belgrade, Serbia.
The mission of the JRC Institute for Energy and Transport (JRC-IET) is to provide support to European Union policies and technology innovation to ensure sustainable, safe, secure and efficient energy production, distribution and use and to foster sustainable and efficient transport in Europe.
JRC-IET is doing so by carrying out research in both nuclear and non-nuclear energy domains, with
partners from the Member States and beyond.
It is based both in Petten, the Netherlands, and Ispra, Italy, and has a multidisciplinary team of around 300 academic, technical, and support staff.(https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/about/institutes-and-directorates/jrc-iet)
This working meeting was merely a small aspect of the Institute’s activities aimed at ensuring transparency in the energy sphere. It aimed to ensure exchange of experiences bringing together the experts of the filed, disseminate existing principles of public participation in local and international level, discuss the levels of participation, instruments and methods, as well as introduce relevant European projects, discuss the stakeholders involving challenges.

The event was attended by experts, representatives of academia and government apparatus of a number of European countries.From the European Neighbourhood Policy Countries have participated representatives of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan Technical University) and Armenia represented by Mari Chaqryan, Armenian Aarhus Centers Press Officer, as an expert on public awareness and public participation in environmental issues.

Vira Khoroshavina, representative of the UNECE Aarhus Convention Secretariat presented how the Aarhus Convention is regulated the public participation in the energy sector, as the most useful and clarified tool the latter presented the Maastricht recommendations.

The presentation gave rise to a heated discussion.

With respect to the issues of public participation were interesting the observations of Paul Dorfman, representative of the University of London.

All the other presentations were mostly dedicated to this or that sector in the field of energy and various EU’s programs and successful examples regarding the renewable energy.

The participants had different opinions with regard to the European common energy policy: if some people considered that for the purpose of environmental protection the nuclear energy should be limited, even completely given up, the others pointed out the traditional, sustainable role of this energy sector.

However, the meeting provided an ample opportunity not only to get acquainted with the experience in the field, but once again highlight the importance of public participation in policy-making process in the energy sector.

Mari Chaqryan
Armenian Aarhus Centers Press Officer

E-mail: aarhusnews@gmail.com
Translated by Anush Beybutyan