Publication details

The Energy Union: existing tools and proposals for external energy and climate diplomacy


ŠVEC Martin BARRA Matteo

Year of publication 2017
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
Description The paper will look at the energy governance in the external dimension of the Energy Union. Against the background of global energy markets, the 2015 Energy Union advances the objective of strengthened energy diplomacy. Shared competence on energy policy and on external relations requires a careful approach on defining the objectives for regional energy security. Are the existing tools adequate to the ambitious objectives? What are the options available? The paper reviews existing instruments (EU legislation and international agreement) pending proposals (such as the information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements) and their impact on the European and the global energy market. (Section 1: background) Although the EU as a whole has been traditionally heavily dependent for its energy supplies (see IEA data), its stance towards supply and transit countries has been at least fragmented. EU Member States enjoy considerable autonomy in setting their energy policy and ensuring their energy security supply with third countries on a bilateral basis. Thus, the existing energy governance framework for security of energy supply consists of a network of intergovernmental agreements between Member States and third countries. The ‘spaghetti bowl’ of bilateral or multilateral governance framework for energy supply reveals potential for conflicts between international treaty law and EU law, as well as with functioning of the internal market. Cost effectiveness of the energy supply and solidarity on a regional basis call for enhancing the regional dimension of energy security for states who are net importer of energy products and dependent on cross-border infrastructure and global energy markets. (Section 2: competence) The 2015 Energy Union aims to give EU one voice on the international scene and calls the EU energy diplomacy under the auspice of the Union and allow EU to set new energy governance standards. Although energy is one of the founding stones of the EU building (steel and coal, nuclear) Art. 194 TFEU leaves Member State to enjoy shared competence (Art. 4 TFEU) over energy policies including importantly freedom of choice on their respective energy mix. The foundation of the Energy Union, including its external dimension, remains in fact the well functioning of the internal energy market. (Section 3: existing tools) Existing instruments of energy diplomacy are varied. On the one side, energy bilateral EU energy dialogue platforms with supplier and transit countries (such as Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan) as well as with other trade partners (USA, Canada). On the other side, political projects like the Euromed cooperation and international agreements likethe International Energy Charter and the Energy Community. In addition to that, the Commission proposes a decision on an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental gas agreements (COM(2016) 53 final). (Section 4: promotion of sustainable energy investments) To prove the effectiveness of the EU in global energy governance, the paper will review a case study of EU action towards promoting global energy transition towards carbon neutral growth.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info