Slovakia and UNDP help the Balkans accelerate energy efficiency in buildings

The Slovak Ministry of Finance supported an event that brought together experts, policymakers, and industry leaders to promote energy-efficient practices in the Balkans+ region. 

As the world grapples with energy challenges, including rising energy costs, and environmental concerns, energy-efficient buildings offer a viable and effective solution. Buildings are major energy consumers, accounting for a significant portion of global energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. For that reason, the European Union (EU) introduced the concept of nearly zero energy buildings. On their path to join the EU, the Balkan countries need to reach near-zero targets.  

“We recognize the importance of energy efficiency in buildings and the need to create a supportive environment in the Balkan+ region. We, therefore, proudly supported the first-ever regional knowledge symposium on the topic,” says Tatiana Zilkova from the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic.  

To facilitate discussion and navigate the challenges associated with funding and implementing energy-efficient building projects in the Balkans+ region, representatives of governments, financial institutions, international organizations, the private sector, and the academic community shared experiences, challenges, and success stories. 

Breaking barriers and shaping the future of energy 

Nearly zero energy buildings are intended to achieve a high level of energy performance through energy-saving measures. As it is important to measure the savings correctly, digitization and the use of data was one of the topics discussed. 

Peter Dittrich from the Slovak Investment Holding talked about the use of state budget and EU funds to support EE renovation of buildings. He presented various support programmes for municipalities, associations of apartment owners and individual property owners. 

The conference served as a starting point, showcasing trends and setting up the scene. It laid the ground for design and implementation of policies and measures that will accelerate the transition to energy-efficient buildings in the Balkans+ region. The know-how acquired should be now put into practice through specific projects.  

UNDP is planning to release a new roadmap for the Balkan+ region on nearly zero public buildings. The news was announced by Ms. Jana Koperniech, Global Technical Specialist – Energy, UNDP.  


The symposium on “Energy Efficiency of Buildings in the Balkans+ Region” was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with  with funding and partnership from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Government of Japan, and the Ministry of Finance of Slovakia. The event was held in Serbia between May 30-31, 2023. Its goal was to support Serbia and the Western Balkans, as well as neighbouring countries like Moldova, to accelerate the implementation of energy efficiency measures in buildings that help reduce energy supply costs, mitigate climate change, and protect the environment and citizens’ health.

The recordings from the conference are available here: 

Slovak Partnership Day 

Building on the information obtained during the conference, UNDP and the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic organized a Slovak Partnership Day. Programme managers and experts from partner countries exchanged their know-how and shared lessons learnt to draw a vision of energy efficiency renovations in the region. 

You can learn about the Slovak projects in the Western Balkans in the field of green energy, digitization and energy efficiency through Resource Mobilization Facility here: