Citizen’s Watch on Energy in Romania

The topic under scrutiny is the governance and performance of Romania’s energy regulator, using an established World Bank / EC framework and measurable indicators, adapted to local risks and tested with success in 3 previous monitoring exercises.

The advocacy objectives of the project are:

❶ to improve the governance structure and the institutional powers of the energy regulator by maintaining public interest on the topic and raising political costs for decision-makers that deviate from rules of good practice

❷ to ensure that the regulations ensure level play, limit abuse, and reduce corruption in the public sector companies, which dominate the Romanian energy sector and distort energy and connected markets.

❸to develop a local network of watchdog organization and opinion leaders who are willing and able to pick up and amplify the message, pressing for change Providing objective, credible information to the key stakeholders (media, politicians, citizens, NGOs, but also companies, consumers, donors and other parties) will keep the focus on demanding enhanced accountability from the regulator. We provide data and facts for the proper measurement of the regulator’s governance and performance issues.

Operationally, the objectives of the project are:

❶To refine and implement a set of objective indicators to measure deviations from good practice in terms of governance and performance of the regulator. The indicators and monitoring will be disseminated to EU and Energy Community Treaty to also enhance external monitoring on energy regulatory reforms. Indicators will be refined considering also regional risks (e.g., networks of corruption that go beyond Romanian borders).

❷ To enhance visibility of energy policy and specifically on the functioning of the energy regulator, by making the process and results public, in a graphic manner and easy to understand language.

❸ To enhance public discussion on energy policy and regulation, in the media and relevant policy circles, national, regional and at EU level

❹ To create a dialogue and dissemination national network able to understand and press for a good governance agenda in the energy sector, in the public interest

The ultimate goal is to create through advocacy pressures from below for the internalization of best practices and European values in good governance in the energy sector. Active enforcement of laws by citizen pressures, demands for transparency and accountability is critical, because most legislation is already in general aligned with EU norms and best practices, but not implemented properly. The project scales up and builds on previous monitoring initiatives, in which we defined indicators that ensure comparability of the energy regulator with itself across time to highlight progress and set incentives for reform, and set final performance targets based on international best practices.

The addition in the current project is to refine indicators for a future direct cross-country comparison in the region, for future regional monitoring. The panel of experts, who have been involved in energy policy across the region, and discussions with NGOs and stakeholders in the Balkans will contribute expertise.


This project is supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD).

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