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Common rules for gas pipelines entering the EU internal market

27-05-2019

In November 2017, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to fully apply key provisions of the 2009 Gas Directive to gas pipelines between the European Union (EU) and third countries. Member States would need to cooperate with third countries to ensure full compliance with EU rules. The revised directive was seen by many observers as a part of the broader EU response to the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 project, which the European Commission publicly opposes. The Parliament adopted its ...

In November 2017, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to fully apply key provisions of the 2009 Gas Directive to gas pipelines between the European Union (EU) and third countries. Member States would need to cooperate with third countries to ensure full compliance with EU rules. The revised directive was seen by many observers as a part of the broader EU response to the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 project, which the European Commission publicly opposes. The Parliament adopted its position on the gas directive in plenary on April 2018, whereas the Council adopted its general approach on 8 February 2019. This was swiftly followed by a single trilogue meeting on 12 February 2019 at which the EU institutions reached a provisional agreement. The agreed text was later formally adopted by Parliament and Council, and entered into force on 23 May 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Connectivity in Central Asia: Reconnecting the Silk Road

02-04-2019

Despite being strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Central Asia has long been poorly connected: remote, landlocked, cut off from the main population centres of Europe and Asia by empty steppes and rugged mountains. As well as physical barriers, regulatory obstacles and political repression often inhibit the free flow of people, goods, services and ideas. However, in 2013 China announced its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), one of whose aims is to revive the historic Silk Road ...

Despite being strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Central Asia has long been poorly connected: remote, landlocked, cut off from the main population centres of Europe and Asia by empty steppes and rugged mountains. As well as physical barriers, regulatory obstacles and political repression often inhibit the free flow of people, goods, services and ideas. However, in 2013 China announced its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), one of whose aims is to revive the historic Silk Road trade route connecting Europe to the Far East via Central Asia. Uzbekistan's more open foreign policy since 2016 also favours improved connectivity. The Belt and Road Initiative has provided impetus for a major transport infrastructure upgrade. Central Asian countries are also dismantling barriers to trade and travel. Many problems still remain – the poor state of physical infrastructure, limited digital connectivity, and regulatory obstacles. Progress has been uneven. In Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, improved connectivity is driving increased trade and investment, while Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are lagging behind. Given the importance of connectivity for Central Asia, it is key to the EU's relations with the region. The EU is making a difference, for example, by supporting educational exchanges and helping to dismantle trade barriers, but its role has not attracted the same attention as China's BRI. The EU's 2018 Connecting Europe and Asia strategy aims to redress the balance by setting out the values that underpin its own vision of sustainable, rules-based connectivity. For the strategy, connectivity is about more than infrastructure, and includes tackling non-physical (e.g. regulatory) barriers to movement. The EU has also expressed concerns about some aspects of the BRI, seen as prioritising China's interests over those of partner countries. However, given Beijing's growing influence, the EU needs to co-exist not only with China but also Russia, which is also a major connectivity player in the region through its Eurasian Economic Union.

Energy as a tool of foreign policy of authoritarian states, in particular Russia

27-04-2018

Russia and other energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy exports for economic gains but also as a tool of foreign policy leverage. This study looks at the ways and methods these states have used to exert political pressure through their energy supplies, and what it means for the European Union. Most energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy wealth to ensure regime survival. But, more than others, Russia uses its energy wealth as well to protect and promote its interests in its ‘ ...

Russia and other energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy exports for economic gains but also as a tool of foreign policy leverage. This study looks at the ways and methods these states have used to exert political pressure through their energy supplies, and what it means for the European Union. Most energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy wealth to ensure regime survival. But, more than others, Russia uses its energy wealth as well to protect and promote its interests in its ‘near abroad’ and to make its geopolitical influence felt further afield, including in Europe. It uses gas supplies to punish and to reward, affecting both transit states and end-consumers. This study explores how supply disruptions, price discounts or hikes, and alternative transit routes such as Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream, are used by Russia to further its foreign policy ambitions, feeding suspicions about its geopolitical motives. The lack of transparency about Russia’s energy policy decisions contributes to this. In response, the EU is building an Energy Union based around the Third Energy Package, a more integrated European market and diversified supplies. By investing in new supplies, such as LNG, and completing a liberalised energy market, the EU will be better able to withstand such energy coercion and develop a more effective EU foreign policy.

Externí autor

Rem Korteweg

Resurgent Russia [What Think Tanks are thinking]

02-03-2018

Russia is increasingly assertive in foreign and security policy, posing a challenge to the post-Cold War, rules-based international order. Following the annexation of Crimea, conflict with Ukraine and intervention in Syria, Russia stands accused of seeking to influence electoral outcomes in the United States and some European countries. Vladimir Putin looks set to be re-elected as Russian President later this month. This note offers links to commentaries, studies by major international think tanks ...

Russia is increasingly assertive in foreign and security policy, posing a challenge to the post-Cold War, rules-based international order. Following the annexation of Crimea, conflict with Ukraine and intervention in Syria, Russia stands accused of seeking to influence electoral outcomes in the United States and some European countries. Vladimir Putin looks set to be re-elected as Russian President later this month. This note offers links to commentaries, studies by major international think tanks, which discuss Russia's policies and how to respond to them. More reports on the topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking', published in July 2017.

The EU's Russia policy: Five guiding principles

08-02-2018

While EU-Russia relations had long been difficult, in 2014 they took an abrupt turn for the worse, after Russia illegally annexed Crimea and fomented separatist insurgencies in eastern Ukraine. To date, little progress has been made towards ending the Ukraine conflict. In addition, new sources of tension have emerged, for example: Russia's military backing for the Assad regime in Syria, and alleged Russian interference in EU politics. In the short term, an easing of tensions seems unlikely. In March ...

While EU-Russia relations had long been difficult, in 2014 they took an abrupt turn for the worse, after Russia illegally annexed Crimea and fomented separatist insurgencies in eastern Ukraine. To date, little progress has been made towards ending the Ukraine conflict. In addition, new sources of tension have emerged, for example: Russia's military backing for the Assad regime in Syria, and alleged Russian interference in EU politics. In the short term, an easing of tensions seems unlikely. In March 2016, EU foreign ministers and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, agreed on five guiding principles for EU-Russia relations: full implementation of the Minsk agreements; closer ties with Russia's former Soviet neighbours; strengthening EU resilience to Russian threats; selective engagement with Russia on certain issues such as counter-terrorism; and support for people-to-people contacts. Implementing each of these principles faces major difficulties. The EU is unlikely to lift sanctions against Russia while implementation of the Minsk agreements remains stalled; the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood remains a zone of confrontation; EU security is threatened by dependence on Russian energy imports and the destabilising effects of aggressive propaganda; EU-Russia cooperation on international issues has become a victim of tensions between the two sides; repressive Russian legislation obstructs EU support for Russian civil society; diplomatic tensions are mirrored by mutual suspicion between ordinary EU citizens and Russians. This is an updated edition of a briefing from October 2016.

New rules on security of gas supply

10-11-2017

In February 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on security of gas supply in order to develop a stronger collective response to future supply risks. Major innovations in the Commission proposal include a solidarity principle that prioritises households and essential social services during an emergency situation; mandatory regional preventive action and emergency plans based on new templates; fewer exemptions on bidirectional capacity, in order to facilitate reverse gas flows; ...

In February 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on security of gas supply in order to develop a stronger collective response to future supply risks. Major innovations in the Commission proposal include a solidarity principle that prioritises households and essential social services during an emergency situation; mandatory regional preventive action and emergency plans based on new templates; fewer exemptions on bidirectional capacity, in order to facilitate reverse gas flows; an increase in the scope of contractual information relating to security of supply that is provided to the Commission and national authorities; and further involvement of the contracting parties of the Energy Community in security of gas supply measures. The ITRE Committee approved its report in October 2016, the Council adopted a general approach in December 2016. Trilogue negotiations began in February 2017 and agreement was reached in April 2017. The agreed text was formally endorsed by the Parliament in September and by the Council in October 2017), and entered into force on 1 November 2017. This updates an earlier edition, of June 2017: PE 607.271.

New rules on security of gas supply

05-09-2017

In February 2016, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the 2010 regulation on security of gas supply. Trilogue negotiations in early 2017 produced an agreed text that was endorsed by the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) committee in May 2017. The Parliament is due to vote on this text during the September 2017 plenary.

In February 2016, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the 2010 regulation on security of gas supply. Trilogue negotiations in early 2017 produced an agreed text that was endorsed by the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) committee in May 2017. The Parliament is due to vote on this text during the September 2017 plenary.

Russia and security [What Think Tanks are thinking]

07-07-2017

Relations between the European Union and Russia remain strained after, late in June, the EU extended its sanctions against the country until 31 January 2018, citing a lack of progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements aimed at ending the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Russia's annexation of Crimea and its conflict with Ukraine have challenged the post-Cold War security order in Europe. Russia's other assertive foreign policy moves, such as its role in the Syrian war and steps to extend its ...

Relations between the European Union and Russia remain strained after, late in June, the EU extended its sanctions against the country until 31 January 2018, citing a lack of progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements aimed at ending the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Russia's annexation of Crimea and its conflict with Ukraine have challenged the post-Cold War security order in Europe. Russia's other assertive foreign policy moves, such as its role in the Syrian war and steps to extend its sphere of influence in Europe, also worry many Western security analysts. This note offers links to commentaries, studies by major international think tanks, which discuss Russia's policies and how to respond to them.

Gazprom's controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline

06-07-2017

In April 2017, European Energy Commissioner, Maroš Šefčovič, commented that no commercial project has ever been so intensely debated as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Opponents of the pipeline are above all worried about its geopolitical and energy security implications.

In April 2017, European Energy Commissioner, Maroš Šefčovič, commented that no commercial project has ever been so intensely debated as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Opponents of the pipeline are above all worried about its geopolitical and energy security implications.

New rules on security of gas supply

23-06-2017

In February 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on security of gas supply as part of its sustainable energy security package, in order to develop a stronger collective response to future supply risks. Major innovations in the Commission proposal include a solidarity principle that prioritises households and essential social services during an emergency situation; mandatory regional preventive action and emergency plans based on new templates; fewer exemptions on bidirectional ...

In February 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on security of gas supply as part of its sustainable energy security package, in order to develop a stronger collective response to future supply risks. Major innovations in the Commission proposal include a solidarity principle that prioritises households and essential social services during an emergency situation; mandatory regional preventive action and emergency plans based on new templates; fewer exemptions on bidirectional capacity, in order to facilitate reverse gas flows; an increase in the scope of contractual information relating to security of supply that is provided to the Commission and national authorities; and further involvement of the contracting parties of the Energy Community in security of gas supply measures. The ITRE Committee approved its report in October 2016, while the Council adopted a general approach in December 2016. Trilogue negotiations started in February 2017 and agreement was reached in April. The agreed text was approved by the ITRE committee on 30 May and is scheduled for a vote in the September 2017 plenary. "A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html"

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