Ashton strongly condemns Belarus execution
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Catherine Ashton has strongly condemned the execution of Uladzislaw Kavalyow, who had been sentenced to death in November 2011in the Minsk subway bombing case, together with Dzmitry Kanavalaw, whose fate remains unknown.
In a statement issued on 17 March, Ashton’s spokesperson said she was “aware of the terrible crimes that these two men were accused of and her thoughts are with the victims and their families.” At the same time, she noted that the two accused had not been accorded due process including the right to defend themselves.
The EU opposes capital punishment under all circumstances, the statement said, emphasizing that “the death penalty is considered to be a cruel and inhuman punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.”
The High Representative therefore called on Belarus, the only country in Europe still applying it, to join a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its universal abolition.
The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said he was appalled by the execution. “The death penalty is irrevocable, inhumane and degrading. The European Parliament opposes it in all cases,” he said in a statement. The Group of the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest in the European Parliament, also condemned the execution. (ENPI Info Centre)
A workshop in Brussels last week has looked at the role of the INOGATE Programme in fostering investment in the region. In its conclusions, the workshop identified legislative, administrative and financial barriers to investment and presented ideas on how to overcome these barriers.
In a section entitled ‘next steps agreed’, the conclusions of the meeting say: “Sustainable Energy Investment targets were considered a good idea and should be linked to financial instruments for RES (renewable energy sources)/EE (energy efficiency) by the EU. Moreover, the development of a template ‘Power Purchase Agreement’ should be worked out and promoted alongside this target. The agreement would allow for the investment return to be realized given that no political change could influence it.”
Four other ‘next steps agreed’, of eight in total, were as follows:
- Develop matrix of barriers to investment in sustainable energy which maps barriers by stakeholder group and partner country. This matrix will be filled-in during the inception visits and will provide an up-to-date picture of what is already in-place and what are considered to be the main obstacles towards investment. The project will use this matrix to define its activities.
- Incorporate training for local bankers and project developers on how to prepare and assess bankable projects in RES & EE.
- Incorporate training for project developers (by industry sector – more targeted) and include networking that invites bankers to meet up with the project developers.
- Networking of European agencies such as the European RES Associations with networks of relevant associations or NGOs in the partner countries. In fact, more use of such associations by INOGATE would be a good idea. This is important for the breaking down of investment barriers (lobbying), sharing of information and experience.
INOGATE is an EU-funded programme promoting international energy co-operation between the European Union and the Partner Countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. It works to support the EU policy frameworks of the Baku Initiative, the Eastern Partnership – Energy Security Platform and the Energy Community. (ENPI Info Centre)
Workshop on energy labelling of electric appliances and eco-design to be held in Moldova
A workshop dedicated to energy labelling of electric appliances and eco-design will be taking place in Chisinau, Moldova on 15 to 16 March. The workshop is being held by the EU-funded Energy Saving Initiative in the Building Sector (ESIB), an INOGATE project.
Representatives and experts from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine will participate in the event and share experience and best practices from their countries. An expert from Finland will give a presentation on the ‘Eco-Design of Energy-related Products: Introduction of legislation, Description of process and Examples of regulations’.
Issues to be discussed:
- Overview of EU legislation, labelling, eco-design, EU and national member state responsibilities, institutional framework.
- National situation, possible regional cooperation, cooperation with the EU
- EU member states examples / plus detailed overview of Czech Republic / Finland / Armenia
- Promotion of energy labels and the energy efficient appliances to consumers
- Overview of possible activities – how information on the energy labels in shops can be verified
- The event will be attended by government officials representing the relevant ministries, consumer protection bodies, energy efficiency agencies, technical laboratories, etc., directly responsible for the creation, adaption, implementation and evaluation of product labelling and eco-design related legislation. (ENPI Info Centre)