Czech Republic Joins International Energy Agency, Becomes Consumer Groups Twenty-Fifth Member

(Paris) — 22 February 2001

The Czech Republic has officially become a full member of the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Robert Priddle, Executive Director of the IEA, announced today at a meeting of the Agency’s Governing Board that the Czech government has deposited its instrument of accession with the Belgian government, thereby committing itself to the 1974 agreement on an International Energy Program. The Czech Republic thus becomes the 25th full member of the IEA.

“We warmly welcome the Czech accession,” Mr. Priddle said. “The Czechs have worked hard to reduce their former exclusive dependence on Russian oil and gas supplies. They are improving their environment by gradually substituting gas for coal and they are working toward price reform. Moreover, they have built up their oil stocks and now hold more than enough oil to cover the 90 days of net imports required under the IEP. Czech membership enlarges and will strengthen the Agency.”

The IEA was founded in 1974, in the wake of the first oil shock. Its original members were drawn from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Hungary joined the group in 1997. Slovakia and Poland are candidates for membership, as is Korea. The Agency’s core mission is to work for a secure supply of energy at affordable prices. It also promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and cleaner energy use. It contributes to the transparency of energy markets through the extensive publication of statistics and analysis. It is deeply engaged in the fight against climate destabilisation caused by energy production and use.

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