The Common Foreign Security Policy and the Security of the Energy Supplies

14-03-2007

This study recommends that the EU regard energy security as a foreign and security policy issue rather than an economic one. The current lack of cohesiveness and overall weakness of the EU’s energy policy is counterproductive to European security, allowing Russia to strengthen its position as the dominant energy supplier. It also leaves Europe’s neighbours in the Caucasus and Central Asia more vulnerable to political and economic interference from Moscow, hampering Western efforts at reform in those countries. A common solution to these problems is engagement with these states on the development of non-Russian-controlled oil and gas pipeline routes into Europe. The study argues that this will improve the EU’s energy security as well as assist its efforts to foster democracy, rule of law and good governance in its neighbours. The study recommends, in the short- to medium-term, a diversification away from Russian energy supplies to those from the Caspian basin, specifically Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Further supplies of oil and natural gas can be imported from the EU’s neighbours on the Mediterranean Sea. In the medium- to long-term, this Study calls for more robust research and development partnerships with other energy consumers, especially with the United States, by far the world’s largest energy consumer.

This study recommends that the EU regard energy security as a foreign and security policy issue rather than an economic one. The current lack of cohesiveness and overall weakness of the EU’s energy policy is counterproductive to European security, allowing Russia to strengthen its position as the dominant energy supplier. It also leaves Europe’s neighbours in the Caucasus and Central Asia more vulnerable to political and economic interference from Moscow, hampering Western efforts at reform in those countries. A common solution to these problems is engagement with these states on the development of non-Russian-controlled oil and gas pipeline routes into Europe. The study argues that this will improve the EU’s energy security as well as assist its efforts to foster democracy, rule of law and good governance in its neighbours. The study recommends, in the short- to medium-term, a diversification away from Russian energy supplies to those from the Caspian basin, specifically Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Further supplies of oil and natural gas can be imported from the EU’s neighbours on the Mediterranean Sea. In the medium- to long-term, this Study calls for more robust research and development partnerships with other energy consumers, especially with the United States, by far the world’s largest energy consumer.

Parlamendiväline autor

Zeyno Baran Director Center for Eurasian Policy Hudson Institute