Energy Community Secretariat Director Janez Kopač has said that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) recently adopted BiH Framework Energy Strategy until 2035 is useless in terms of attracting major investments without the passage of a related law.
The BiH Framework Energy Strategy until 2035, which the BiH Council of Ministers adopted in late August, is a non-binding framework document that will not result in any solutions unless there is a political will reflected in the passage of the law, according to Kopač, local media reported.
The adoption of the strategy is good on a symbolic level and there is no harm for BiH to have such a document, but only the law can lead to major investments, according to him. However, as things stand now, this law will not be passed in the foreseeable future, according to Kopač.
The Energy Community’s sanctions against BiH remain in force, he said, recalling that the country is under sanctions for failing to meet its obligations.
Council of Ministers believes strategy will bring EU funds, attract investors
After the adoption of the strategy, the BiH Council of Ministers said on its website that the document created the conditions to draw the EU’s IPA funds and funds from the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) for the country’s energy sector, as well as to attract investors.
The BiH Framework Energy Strategy, adopted at the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, had been subject to negotiations between the two BiH entities – the Federation of BiH (FBiH) and Republika Srpska – for ten years. It is estimated that BiH has lost around EUR 200 million in the absence of the strategy, according to earlier reports.
The Council of Ministers also said that the adoption of this strategic document defined the path of the energy development in BiH until 2035, which would have a positive impact on the investments as well as market and regulatory reforms in all segments of the energy sector, adding that the strategy was expected to indirectly help increase employment, reduce public debt, and improve competitiveness in BiH.