Slovak Republic is invited to join the IEA

(Paris) — 7 March 2007

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has invited the Slovak Republic to become its 27th member country. At a regular meeting today in Paris, the Agency´s Governing Board approved the accession request of the Slovak government.

“We are delighted that the Slovak Republic will join the IEA”, said IEA Executive Director Claude Mandil. “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.”

While heavily dependent on crude oil supplies from Russia, the Slovak Republic is a net exporter of refined petroleum products, providing an important share of product supply to its neighbours. It also provides vital transit for a significant volume of both crude oil and natural gas.

After joining the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in December 2000 (a prerequisite for IEA accession), the Slovak Republic formally applied for accession to the IEA's founding document on 9 February 2007. In the meantime, it built its oil stocks and implemented legislation and policies to enable it to fulfil its membership obligations.

The country has accumulated 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 IEA's miminum stockholding obligation (90 days of the prior year's net oil imports). The Slovak Republic also has developed a demand restraint programme comparable to that of IEA member countries.

Mr. Mandil commended the strong development of the country´s energy policies and programmes: “The Slovak Republic has taken impressive steps to provide for its own energy protection and made remarkable progress in transforming its energy sector into a market-orientated one that is based on the principles reflected in the IEA Shared Goals”, he said. “There is every reason to expect that this successful process will continue and be reinforced by membership in the IEA.”

To become a full member country, the Slovak Republic will now need to complete the procedures and take the necessary steps under its national legislation to accede to the IEA's founding document, the Agreement on an International Energy Program (I.E.P. Agreement). Once the Slovak Republic’s accession becomes effective, the number of IEA member countries will increase to 27. Poland remains the only other current candidate for membership in the IEA.

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