COMMENTARY: Brown Forum Wrap-up: “Energy Security is Essential for Economic Security”

vrdoljak_brown-forum22 April 2014, LPJ Croatia Issue 81

Last week, the Croatian and US governments organised the 4th Brown Forum on the Future of Energy in Southeast Europe in Zagreb.  We have extensively addressed energy issues within the Legislative & Policy Journal throughout the past couple of years.

There are numerous reasons for the focus on energy and energy projects including: opportunities for investors, numerous sub-contractors and suppliers; long-term reduction of energy costs (both for businesses and individual consumers); regional business cooperation; economic security; etc.  The importance of the energy sector in the region, which is also reflected in the importance of energy in the EU and even globally, was confirmed by the high-level US officials and corporation representatives, including Noble Energy, Marathon Oil, Exxon, General Electric, Cheniere, ConocoPhilips, etc.  U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Julia Nesheiwat encompassed the theme of the forum the best by stating: “Energy security is essential for economic security.”

Energy Security Predominant Theme

During her opening remarks, First Deputy PM Vesna Pusic (HNS) emphasised that the topic of the Forum was truly topical and important, and welcomed the participants and praised the government’s efforts towards ensuring energy independence. “A year ago Croatia practically was not present at Europe’s energy map. Now we are developing three major energy projects: LNG terminal, oil and gas exploration and the South Corridor project (i.e. Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline (IAP))”, added Pusic.

At the event, Economy Minister Vrdoljak (HNS) told reporters a total of 36 energy projects, with the combined value of €9 billion, were currently at various stages of development…

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