Energy Security, Trade and the EU

Energy Security, Trade and the EU

Regional and International Perspectives

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Costantino Grasso and Juan Alemany Ríos

Energy security is a burning issue in a world where 1.4 billion people still have no access to electricity. This book is about finding solutions for energy security through the international trading system. Focusing mainly on the European Union as a case study, this holistic and comprehensive analysis of the existing legal and geopolitical instruments strives to identify the shortcomings of the international and EU energy trade governance systems, concluding with the notion of a European Energy Union and what the EU is politically prepared to accept as part of its unified energy security.

Chapter 2: Multilateral, regional and bilateral energy trade governance

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Costantino Grasso and Juan Alemany Ríos

Subjects: law - academic, energy law, environmental law, international economic law, trade law


The current international energy trade governance system is fragmented and multilayered. Streamlining it for greater legal cohesiveness and international political and economic cooperation would promote global energy security. Chapter 2 explores three levels of energy trade governance: multilateral, regional and bilateral. Most energy-rich countries are part of the multilateral trading system, which is institutionalized by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The chapter analyses the multilateral energy trade governance system by focusing on the WTO and energy transportation issues. Regionally, the chapter focuses on five major regional agreements and their energy-related aspects and examines the various causes of the proliferation of regional trade agreements and their compatibility with WTO law, and then provides several examples of regional energy trade governance throughout the world. When it comes to bilateral energy trade governance, this chapter only addresses the European Union’s (EU) bilateral energy trade relations. The chapter explores ways in which gaps could be filled and overlaps eliminated while remaining true to the high-level normative framework, concentrating on those measures that would enhance EU energy security.

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