An Environmental Approach
Edited by Francesc Morata and Israel Solorio Sandoval
Chapter 12: Conclusions: Bridging Over Environmental and Energy Policies
Francesc Morata and Israel Solorio Sandoval 12.1 ENERGY: AN INTEGRATIONIST DRIVER After almost 60 years of European integration, the member states of the European Union (EU) have not been able to agree yet on the need to develop a common energy policy. They did not do so in the 1950s, despite the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and, later on, EURATOM, nor in the 1970s, ignoring the initial proposals of the European Commission in the midst of the strong economic shocks caused by successive oil price increases.1 They chose instead to strengthen their protectionist policies on behalf of the sovereignty-rooted principles of independence and energy security. Certainly, the heterogeneity of the energy structures of the member states has not made things easy. However, it is worth emphasizing the determining weight of domestic considerations, including the maintenance of free-market barriers to protect the national energy champions.2 Consequently, the development of the internal market has suffered the limitations resulting from the lack of a common energy policy; and internationally, the EU, heavily dependent on external supplies, has not been able to speak with a single voice when negotiating agreements with its major suppliers of oil and gas, and with transit countries. Clearly, liberal intergovernamentalism is the best theoretical approach to account for the shortcomings identified to the extent that energy policy, particularly security of supply, forms part of the hard core of state sovereignty (‘high politics’). As Ciambra explores in this volume (Chapter 9), concerns about energy supply...
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