ComAct Policy Roundtable on Energy Poverty

ComAct (Community Tailored Actions for Energy Poverty Mitigation) is a 3-year project funded by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 framework program. ComAct aims to make energy-efficient improvements in multi-family apartment buildings in the Central and Eastern European regions affordable and manageable for energy-poor communities. ComAct has taken a deep dive into five countries – Hungary, Lithuania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Ukraine – to look at their energy poverty rates, how the energy-poor are identified, and what programmes are in place to support them.

The Fit for 55 package and 2021 recast EPBD proposal stress the importance of energy poverty alleviation. Despite welcoming the increasing attention of the Commission for energy poverty, critics point at the need for a more comprehensive and tailored coverage of energy poverty in EU policy. ComAct is organizing a Policy Roundtable in Brussels with policymakers from the EU and Central and Eastern Europe to discuss the ongoing revision of the recast EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) proposal.

The roundtable focuses on how the EPBD can better reflect the multi-faceted nature of energy poverty and ensure effective energy poverty alleviation in multi-families apartment buildings in the CEE region and scale-up renovation of these buildings. The EU policymakers and relevant actors with knowledge and connections to CEE countries are invited to attend and contribute.


Welcome remarks by MEP Ciarán Cuffe and Besim Nebiu, Director, Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States at Habitat for Humanity International

Session 1: Energy Performance of Buildings Directive: views from Central and Eastern Europe
The recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) (2021) is a proposal by the European Commission to accelerate the decarbonisation of buildings and fostering renovation. The EPBD is part of the legislative “Fit for 55” package, which aims to the 2030 climate target. This session invites policy makers from CEE countries and beyond to jointly discuss how the EPBD proposal may affect the region, and what are the expected impacts of it in addressing renovation strategies and mitigating energy poverty in the multi-apartment buildings context.

Moderator: Dragomir Tzanev, Executive Director, EnEffect, Bulgaria


  • Hélène Sibileau, Senior Policy Advisor, Buildings Performance Institute Europe – introduction to EU building decarbonisation policies related to energy poverty
  •  Hanna Zdanowska, Mayor of the City of Łódź, Poland and member of the European Committee of the Regions
  • Marius Smaidžiūnas, Advisor in the competence center for building energy efficiency, APVA, Lithuania
  • Benedek Jávor, Head of the Representation of Budapest to the EU and Former Member of the European Parliament

Session 2: Energy Performance of Buildings Directive: Recommendations from the ComAct project

Habitat for Humanity International representatives will present relevant outcomes of the ComAct project and suggest recommendations to strengthen the EPBD recast. During the panel discussion EU policy makers, representatives of the European Commission and representatives of Member States are invited to respond to the recommendations, and discuss how the EPBD can shaped to effectively alleviate energy poverty in multi-family apartment buildings in CEE.

Moderator: Mariangiola Fabbri, Head of Research, Buildings Performance Institute Europe


  • Gyorgy Sumeghy, Associate Director, Policy and Advocacy, Habitat for Humanity International – Europe and Middle East – to present recommendations
  • Ciarán Cuffe, Member of the European Parliament
  • Silvia Rezessy, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission
  • Kęstutis Kupšys, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee


Watch the recordings 

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