Slovak Republic to become 27th member of the IEA

The Slovak Republic has completed all steps required to become a full member of the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka announced that the Slovak Republic had deposited its instrument of accession to the IEA Agreement on an International Energy Program with the Belgian government, the last step toward becoming the 27th member of the Agency. The country's membership will begin formally on 30 November 2007.

“We heartily welcome the Slovak Republic into the IEA,” said Mr. Tanaka. “The country plays an important role in Europe’s energy supply chain. Its geographic position as a key energy transit country in Central and Eastern Europe means that its membership will greatly enhance the Agency’s presence and energy security in the region.”

In order to meet a central requirement of full membership in the Agency, the Slovak Republic has set aside emergency oil stocks (public- and industry-held) well in excess of 100 days of net imports and can expect to remain consistently compliant with the minimum IEA stockholding obligation (90 days of the prior year’s net oil imports). It also has developed a demand restraint programme comparable with that of IEA member countries.

The IEA was founded in 1974 in the wake of the first oil shock. It is an independent organisation of oil-consuming nations within the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Its initial core mission was to co-ordinate measures in times of oil supply emergencies. Over the years, the IEA mandate has broadened to incorporate the “Three E’s” of balanced energy policy making: energy security, economic development and environmental protection. Current work focuses on climate change policies, energy efficiency, market reform, energy technology collaboration and outreach to the rest of the world, especially major consumers and producers of energy such as China, India, Russia and the OPEC countries. The IEA conducts a broad programme of energy research, data compilation, publications and public dissemination of the latest energy policy analysis and recommendations on good practices.

After the Slovak Republic, Poland is set to become the next member country of the IEA. Invited in October of this year to join the Agency, Poland is currently completing accession procedures.