At the conference “The future of decarbonization in Serbia and the experience of the countries of the Visegrad group (V4)”, held on September 14, 2023. In the Holiday Inn Express hotel in Belgrade, the European Movement in Serbia presented a proposal for a political document on decarbonization in Serbia, which also summarizes the experience of the V4 countries, which can serve as a good practice for the further development of policies in Serbia.

Energy security and energy poverty risks in Serbia constitute major fiscal risk. Political and social destabilization, which may result from sudden materialization of these risks, could push the country further away from EU integration and cause further regional and cross-border disputes. Problems with cross-border pollution and cross-border water resources, as well as electricity transit issues, could complicate the situation even further. Rapid decarbonization with comprehensive plan and its effective execution is to be considered as the most effective way to prevent materialization of these risks and move decisively towards EU integration.

Serbia’s National Energy Strategy and National Spatial Plan are in preparation. These two processes must be enhanced, redirected, and made far more ambitious, with the aim to create effective legal, political, and administrative instruments for rapid decarbonization of energy and transport sectors in Serbia. Inclusive involvement of civil society in drafting and adoption of these two strategic documents is a way to set up foundations for rapid and ambitious change as described hereby.

Forthcoming EU-Western Balkans Summit within the Berlin process provides an opportunity for the European Union to invite entire Western Balkans region, and Serbia in particular, into the EU ETS system, with grantof free allocation of carbon credits for the purpose of decarbonization of the energy sector. That would contribute to liquidity of EU ETS market and provide further trading opportunities, inter alia, for V4 countries. From a wider perspective, it is considered rational to rapidly replace lignite-fired power plants in Western Balkans with high carbon intensity and extraordinary emissions of SOx, while offering additional EU ETS credits to more effective plants elsewhere in Europe.

The material is the product of the work of Aleksandar Kovačević, as the author, and Damir Dizdarević, Marina Popović, Milena Antić, of the European Movement in Serbia, as co-authors.

Policy Brief was created as part of the project “Strengthening CSOs involved in the decarbonization process in Serbia through the experience of the V4 countries”, which is implemented by the European Movement in Serbia with partners with the support of the Visegrad Fund. The leader of the project is the Institute for EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy from the Czech Republic, while the partner consortium members are Institute for Sustainable Development Foundation – Poland, Slovak Foreign Policy Association (RC SFPA) – Slovakia, Equilibrium Institute Hungary and the European Movement in Serbia. The text in no way reflects the views of the Visegrad Fund and the European Movement in Serbia is solely responsible for it.

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