Bosnia and Herzegovina risks losing millions of euros for energy projects from the EU unless it passes a gas law to comply with the bloc’s energy regulations, the Balkan country’s economy minister has warned.
The Energy Community, an international body established by the EU and eight aspiring member states to extend the bloc’s energy policy to would-be members, set the end of March deadline for the country to pass the long-delayed law, which was drafted by its ministry of foreign trade and economic relations.
Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have an energy ministry at the state level, but only at the level of its two regions – the Serb Republic and the Bosniak-Croat Federation.
Mirko Šarović, foreign trade and economic relations minister, said the regions, which should approve the bill and then harmonise their own gas laws with it, had failed to give their opinion on the legislation so far.
Šarović said: “The alarm is set and the country risks losing tens of millions of euros in EU funds for energy sector projects.”
The Energy Community added: “The Bosnian people are held hostage by the energy elite and end up paying the highest price for gas in the whole of Europe.”
The Balkan country relies on Russian supplies via Ukraine, Hungary and Serbia to get some 350 million cubic metres of gas that it needs annually and is looking at ways to diversify gas networks to reduce dependence on Russia.