Back to all areas of expertise

South-East Europe

The ECF’s South-East Europe Programme is active in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Hercegovina. It helps countries embrace net-zero development in practice and to move away from fossil fuels in the energy and construction sectors. The aim is for the region to achieve higher climate awareness and the know-how to conduct the transition to net-zero emissions.

Deniz Fuchidzhiev Sbxo Msvvze Unsplash

Key challenges

  • High dependence on antiquated lignite-based generation for electricity production, with extremely high air pollution levels
  • Low climate awareness compared to other parts of Europe, which makes harder for the general public and decision-makers
  • Horizontally integrated ownership and dominant state ownership in the energy sector
  • Widespread energy poverty and subsidised electricity prices for consumers
  • High investment costs for renewables and an underdeveloped regulatory/policy framework for large-scale deployment



  • Supporting the essential transition of the electricity sector of the South-East Europe region as a large part of the power generation capacity needs replacement.
  • Informing decisions on the replacement of the current electricity generation capacity: The wrong decisions would lock the region into a pathway of stranded assets and infrastructure which would have to be abandoned in a decade. Such an investment would increase poverty and decrease the geopolitical stability of the region.
  • Seizing the large renewable potential of the SEE region, which would provide the possibilities necessary for the transition to a net-zero GHG society
  • Supporting credible communication of up-to-date scientific knowledge in a commonly understandable language to increase understanding of the seriousness of climate change and its implications in the region.

How we work

The ECF supports efforts to level the playing field for renewable energy sources, taking into consideration environmental externalities. We provide state-of-art analytical and technological advice to support the low-carbon transition in the region’s electricity sector. We help tackle environmental, regulatory, economic and financial issues connected to the energy system transformation, addressing all actors involved.  The Programme also monitors the air quality situation, analysing results and seeking solutions to reduce the region’s chronic pollution problem. To further climate science communication, the ECF also provides know-how and support to scientists and communications specialists working together in several countries of the region.


Jozsef Feiler

Director, South East Europe & Hungary Programme

Agnes Kelemen

Manager, South East Europe & Hungary Programme

Edua Malatinszky

Senior Associate, South East Europe & Hungary Programme

Teodora Stoyanova

Associate, South East Europe & Hungary Programme