Energy Security: Balkans solutions, not Balkans problems
Prague Center for Transatlantic Relations cordially invites you to a discussion with Václav Bartuška, Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security, MFA John Jovanovic, CEO, Nova Fleet and Peter Stohr, Director, Premier Energy Group: Energy Security: Balkans solutions, not Balkans problems on Monday, September 11 at 17:00, CEVRO Institute, Jungmannova 28, Praha 1. Cameron Munter, PCTR Senior Fellow, will moderate it.
More than a year after Russia invaded Ukraine, the project of energy security for Europe has become clear: We have weathered the first phase of our energy crisis but need to secure durable, sustainable energy sources and distribution in a new geopolitical landscape.
At the same time, Europe and America are taking a fresh look at the Balkans, not only to complete the project of European unification but as an irreplaceable part of the solution for energy security for the continent.
This is not only a question pertaining to the Greater Balkans – by this, we mean to include Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria with the so-called Western Balkans Six – but building the potential for the Greater Balkans to help address energy needs in all of Europe.
There are untapped resources (hydroelectric power, wind and solar, battery minerals), an underserved sector, a critical need to link Europe with the Eastern Mediterranean, and the opportunity to fully integrate the Balkans into the European energy landscape.
How, then, given the decade of diplomatic stagnation on E.U. enlargement in the Balkans and the legacy political conflict there, can Western investors take advantage of the current moment: the need to transform the Balkans from a problem at Europe’s doorstep to part of the solution to Europe’s energy security needs. This should be achieved while crowding out the malign influences from other sources of capital, namely China and Russia. Without sustained capital investment and know-how from the West, the region will continue to languish.
Our speakers – government, business, and investment experts – will tell us what obstacles we face and remind us of the opportunities and essential political implications we must address.
Václav Bartuška has been Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic since 2006. He gained a public profile during the gas crisis of 2009, when the Czech Republic, holding the presidency of the European Council at the time, helped restore gas supplies to the E.U. From 2010 to 2014, he was the government’s plenipotentiary for the expansion of the Temelín nuclear power station.
Since 2003, he has taught at New York University, Prague campus, and since 2017, at the Electrotechnical Department of Czech Technical University, ČVUT.
Peter Stohr is Director of the Premier Energy Group, one the fastest growing energy businesses in the Balkans. It distributes and sells electricity to over 70% of the population of Moldova, is the #4 supplier of renewable energy in Romania, and is the 3rd largest natural gas distributor and supplier in Romania.
Peter has been engaged in building Premier’s business over the past decade. Before moving to Prague 13 years ago, Peter worked for Citigroup’s Alternative Investments Division in London and New York.
He earned MBA degrees at both London Business School and Columbia Business School.
John Jovanovic is CEO of Nova Fleet, an investment firm focused on energy, commodities, and critical infrastructure.
Before Nova Fleet, John served as Managing Director of the Aegean and Western Balkans for the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. government’s $60 billion development bank. In this role, he led regional initiatives to address critical challenges, including regional cooperation, energy security, improving critical infrastructure, and supporting small/medium-sized enterprises.
John is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and senior advisor to Concordia, a global organization facilitating public/private partnerships. He is also a member of the Milken Institute Young Leaders Circle.