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Parliamentary questions
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26 April 2021
E-000249/2021(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Simson
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000249/2021

1. The Energy Community Secretariat concluded that the financial guarantee, issued by the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in favour of the loan by the China Exim Bank for the Tuzla power plant constitutes state aid within the meaning of Article 18(1)(c) of the Energy Community Treaty. It therefore submitted this issue for adoption at the Ministerial Council in December 2020. The position of the Commission is to support the proposed Ministerial Council decision establishing the existence of a breach of the Energy Community Treaty, once the Advisory Committee of the Energy Community has delivered an opinion supporting the findings of the Secretariat and subject to new developments on the case.

2. As outlined in the European Green Deal, fossil fuel subsidies should be phased-out. In October 2020, the Commission adopted the Guidelines for the implementation of the Green Agenda for the western Balkans(1). The Western Balkans need to step up efforts to promote the clean energy transition. The expansion of coal-fired power stations, as in the case of Tuzla, does not go in this direction, as it would considerably prolong coal-based electricity generation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and contradicts its engagement towards decarbonisation.

3. Notwithstanding the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina justified its decision to expand the Tuzla power plant with a rapid increase in demand for energy within its borders, such decision raises serious concerns as regards its commitments to the respect of EU policies and laws in key areas of public procurement, environment, energy and competition. This may negatively affect its European integration aspirations.

(1)SWD(2020) 223 final, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/green_agenda_for_the_western_balkans_en.pdf
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