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[en] The goals of the EU2030 energy policy should be achieved cost-effectively by employing the optimal mix of supply and demand side technical measures, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and structural measures. In this paper, the achievement of these goals is modeled by introducing an innovative method of soft-linking of EnergyPLAN with the generic optimization program (GenOpt). This soft-link enables simulation-based optimization, guided with the chosen optimization algorithm, rather than manual adjustments of the decision vectors. In order to obtain EnergyPLAN simulations within the optimization loop of GenOpt, the decision vectors should be chosen and explained in GenOpt for scenarios created in EnergyPLAN. The result of the optimization loop is an optimal national energy master plan (as a case study, energy policy in Serbia was taken), followed with sensitivity analysis of the exogenous assumptions and with focus on the contribution of the smart electricity grid to the achievement of EU2030 goals. It is shown that the increase in the policy-induced total costs of less than 3% is not significant. This general method could be further improved and used worldwide in the optimal planning of sustainable national energy systems. - Highlights: • Innovative method of soft-linking of EnergyPLAN with GenOpt has been introduced. • Optimal national energy master plan has been developed (the case study for Serbia). • Sensitivity analysis on the exogenous world energy and emission price development outlook. • Focus on the contribution of smart energy systems to the EU2030 goals. • Innovative soft-linking methodology could be further improved and used worldwide.