Balkan Policies for “Green” Economic Growth

The Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” organized a conference “Balkan Policies for “Green” Economic Growth”. Its aim was to  foster a common understanding on energy-related policies between the governments, energy companies, energy experts, investors, analysts and NGOs from all the countries of the Western Balkans, Bulgaria and Romania and to outline strategy for clean energy regional cooperation just before the Rio+20 conference.

The conference was held on 11.06.2012 at the Radisson Blu Grand Hotel, Sofia and started at 9:00 a.m.
The Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Delyan Dobrev opened the conference.
The conference was held just prior to this in Rio de Janeiro, which was attended by all world leaders. It focused on two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.  The themes overlapped with the idea of the conference in Sofia, which contributed to the establishment of a common position from the countries of the Western Balkans, Bulgaria and Romania shortly before the Rio Conference. In this way they were prepared for action according to the decisions made during the conference in Rio.

The main objective of the conference was to reach a common understanding, to exchange information and ideas, to discuss the political actions needed to address the growing global and regional energy challenges and to transfer knowledge on the road to sustainable energy policies that will help future EU members from the region integrate in the European energy community just before the Rio+20 conference. The experience of Bulgaria in the process of accession to the EU was used. The President and the Prime Minister of Bulgaria had declared energy efficiency as a priority for them, which facilitated the process of building a successful regional cooperation.
During the energy conference the major theme was examined from different perspectives. The main perspective was regional cooperation and its role in the European energy sector. Other perspectives were the importance of investments, the role of governments and energy efficiency as a key tool for achieving energy security and reduction of the negative impact for the environment in the region.

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