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IENE’s 15th Southeast Europe Energy Dialogue: A Deep Dive into Upgraded Geopolitical and Diplomatic Issues in Energy Security

Jun 14, 2024, 12:27:11 PMPress release by IENE
Highlighting the enhanced geopolitical and diplomatic context of energy developments in Southeast Europe and their significant role in interconnections and energy security in Europe and worldwide, the 15th Southeast Europe Energy Dialogue (SEEED) will be held on Wednesday, June 19, and Thursday, June 20, 2024. This annual event is organized by the Institute of Energy of South East Europe (IENE) and is once again taking place in Thessaloniki. The event, held under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Energy and Environment, will feature more than 45 speakers, debaters, and moderators from the Balkans, Southeast Europe, and the Eastern Mediterranean.

IENE’s 15th Southeast Europe Energy Dialogue: A Deep Dive into Upgraded Geopolitical and Diplomatic Issues in Energy Security

Distinguished speakers, including senior executives from major energy companies, experts from various energy sectors, government officials, and academics from the Western Balkans, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, and Greece, as well as representatives from regional and international organizations and think tanks, will participate in the 15th SEEED of IENE. This established annual regional meeting on energy is a key forum for discussing the latest developments and trends in the energy sector.

The proceedings of the conference will be opened by Mr. Artur Lorkowski, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat, an EU organization based in Vienna that focuses on integrating the Western Balkans and wider Southeast Europe into the Community acquis in the field of energy.

In addition, the 15th IENE Energy Dialogue of Southeast Europe will provide participants with an enhanced perspective on the geopolitical and diplomatic implications of energy sector developments in Southeast Europe and the Southern Mediterranean. These implications are significant not only for the countries in the region but also on a global scale. The special Ambassadors' Forum will commence with a speech by H.E. Mr. Xiao Junzheng, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Greece, highlighting the international scope of the conference. This is particularly relevant as Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, historically a crossroads of trade and energy routes, are increasingly becoming central to critical and rapidly evolving geopolitical developments with global impact.

A panel discussion will follow, featuring H.E. Mr. Matthew Lodge, Ambassador of the United Kingdom, and H.E. Mr. Arif Mammadov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan. The discussion will be moderated by Ambassador (ret.) Mr. Michail Christidis and will focus on the region's importance in terms of both investment prospects and energy geopolitics.

Leading experts will analyze the energy landscape in the region and more broadly in Europe. Speakers will include Mr. Slavtcho Neykov, Chairman of the Board of the Energy Management Institute of Bulgaria; Dr. Yurdakul Yigitgüden, an independent energy consultant and former Coordinator of Economic and Environmental Activities of the OSCE and IENE Distinguished Fellow in Turkey; and Dr. William Gillett, Director of Energy Programs at the European Academies Scientific Advisory Council (EASAC) based in Brussels. They will participate in a session on energy security in Southeast Europe and the Southern Mediterranean.

Dr. Nicolas Katcharov, CEO of Energean International, a subsidiary of Energean PLC, and Dr. Amit Mor, CEO of Israel's ECO Energy Financial and Strategy Consulting and Partner at IENE, will provide, along with other executives from organizations and businesses, an updated overview of regional developments in hydrocarbon exploration at the relevant session of the 15th SEEED.

The dynamics of the electricity markets in Southeast Europe will be thoroughly discussed by a series of speakers from various countries and regional bodies, including Mr. Aleksandar Mijušković, Chairman of the Board of the Transmission System Operator of Montenegro; Mr. Shkelqim Bozgo, Managing Partner of SEA Consulting in Tirana; Mr. Andreas Petropouleas, Director of Energy Management at Elpedison; Professor Pantelis Biskas from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; and Mr. Antonis Kontoleon, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Union of Industrial Consumers of Energy (UNICEN).

In the session on natural gas, which will address numerous ongoing projects in Southeast Europe as well as burgeoning investment prospects, speakers will include distinguished executives in the sector, such as Dr. Charles Ellinas, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council in the United Kingdom and Visiting Research Fellow at IENE; Mr. Gokhan Yardim, Managing Partner of Turkish ADG Anadolu Natural Gas Consultancy Trade Ltd. and Senior Partner at IENE; Mr. Kostis Sifnaios, Vice President and CEO of Gastrade; and Mr. Milan Zdravkovic, DSO Executive Director at JP SRBIJAGAS in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Issues related to the energy transition, such as decarbonization, renewable energy sources (RES), and energy efficiency, and their application in Southeast Europe, will be discussed by executives and industry experts from the region. Speakers will include Dr. Spyros Kiartzis, Manager of New Technologies and Alternative Energy Sources at HELLENiQ ENERGY Group; Dr. Eng. Veselin Todorov, Chairman of the Board of the Solar Academy Bulgaria Association; Dr. Muhsin Mazman, Director of the T-Dynamic Energy Storage Sector in Turkey; Mr. Konstantinos Theofylaktos, Secretary General and President of the Energy Efficiency Committee at IENE; and Professor Agis Papadopoulos, President of the Thessaloniki Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYATH S.A.).

Green fuels, biomethane, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage (CCUS) are emerging as alternative energy solutions that are gaining momentum in the energy agenda at both the pan-European level and in Southeast Europe. Discussing these topics will be Ms. Liana Gouta, General Director of the European Association of Fuels Production Industries (Fuels Europe & Concawe); Mr. Giorgos Exarchos, Business Development Manager for Greece and Cyprus at Hydrogène de France (HDF Energy); and Professor Vassilios Veskoukis from the School of Rural, Surveying and Geoinformatics Engineering at NTUA. They will explore these pioneering energy applications and their regional development.

A number of large and dynamic companies and entities in energy production and services have already declared their support for the 15th SE Europe Energy Dialogue by the Institute of Energy of South East Europe (IENE). Specifically, the Sponsors and Supporters of the Conference include: HELLENiQ ENERGY Group, Motor Oil, the Hellenic Natural Gas System Operator (DESFA), the law firm KG Law Firm, the energy company Elpedison, the Hellenic Hydrocarbon Management Company and Energy Resources (EDEFEP) S.A., Gastrade, ZeniΘ and the energy company EnSCo, the Grant Thornton Consulting firm and the Regional Electricity Control Center of SE Europe (SELeNe CC), based in Thessaloniki.

Communication sponsors of the event are the energy portal,, and Policy Journal.

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