Georgia launched on February 20 negotiations with the European Commission on joining the Energy Community, organization which fosters energy market cooperation between the EU and neighboring countries.
“Today's negotiations mark Georgia's path towards regional integration and enhanced energy cooperation with the EU,” said European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, who held talks in Tbilisi including with PM Irakli Garibashvili.
The European Commission said in a press release that by becoming a member of the Energy Community and by “implementing EU energy legislation, Georgia will have closer ties with EU's single energy market”, which will help to attract investments and increase the financial sustainability of the energy sector.
Negotiating teams from the European Commission and Georgia discussed in Tbilisi a timetable for Georgia to implement key EU rules on electricity and gas networks, environment, renewable energy, energy efficiency, oil and on energy statistics.
According to the Georgian officials talks are expected to last for six or eight months and signing of accession treaty is aimed before the end of the term of sitting European Commission in October.
Along with the EU states, members of the Energy Community are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine. Georgia, Armenia, Norway and Turkey have the status of observers.