On 27 November 2014, Mr. Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for the EU Energy Union, delivered a keynote speech at the Ministerial Session of the Energy Charter Conference in Astana, Kazakhstan. Mr. Šefčovič commented on the Energy Charter Process achievements of 2014, particularly the performance of the five-yearly review of the organisation, the adoption of the Astana Roadmap for the organisation's further development, and the agreement on the new International Energy Charter, the adoption of which is anticipated in spring 2015. Mr. Šefčovič stated: "My message today is that the European Commission is fully committed to making the realisation of these goals a success. The Commission will continue to work in close cooperation with the EU Member States and all contracting parties and signatories to ensure that the new Charter and the Energy Charter Treaty continue to be regarded as corner stones of global energy architecture."
Mr. Šefčovič also outlined his approach to building EU's Energy Union, a priority agreed by EU leaders in 2014. The aim of the Union will be affordable, secure and sustainable energy. A more holistic approach to energy will be adopted across different policy areas, covering also climate, transport, industry, research, the digital economy and agriculture. The expected result of this would be a significant contribution to Europe's competitiveness and economic growth. Mr. Šefčovič highlighted that achieving energy security required international cooperation beyond EU borders.
The Review of National Policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Area of Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency was officially launched in Astana on 26 November 2014. The Review was carried out by the Energy Charter Secretariat and the KAZENERGY Association with the special support of the Energy Centre of the Kazakh University of Oil and Gas and the company KEGOC.
On 25 November 2014 Secretary General Rusnák met with the Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan Mr. Vladimir Shkolnik and the Chairman of the Energy Charter Conference Mr. Uzakbay Karabalin in Astana. The parties discussed preparations towards the upcoming 25th meeting of the Energy Charter Conference and bilateral cooperation with Kazakhstan.
Minister Shkolnik welcomed all delegations arriving to Astana for the Conference Meeting on 26-27 November and expressed wishes for a very successful event. Kazakhstan is proud to host the Conference Meeting which will include a Ministerial Session focussing on the development of transit corridors in the context of global energy security.
As part of his official visit to Japan, Secretary General Urban Rusnák met with the Chairman of the Institute of Energy Economics (IEEJ) and gave a series of lectures for postgraduates at Tokyo and Kyoto Universities on 17 and 18 November 2014. Both universities welcomed the possibility of concluding a Memorandum of Understanding with the Energy Charter Secretariat.
Japan will assume the Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference in 2016.