International Energy Governance
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International Energy Governance

Selected Legal Issues

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Andrew Filis and Ehab S. Abu Gosh

The legal aspects at the junction of interstate energy cooperation have become increasingly important in a world that is hungry for energy security. This book focuses on selected legal issues relating to international energy governance. International law as it stands today is not well equipped to handle international energy governance issues fully. This legal deficiency affects energy security negatively. If the currently fragmented and multi-layered international energy governance regime were streamlined for greater legal cohesiveness and international political and economic cooperation, it would promote energy security. Some chapters of the book take a broader view on interstate energy cooperation, such as energy transit, energy market liberalization and energy investment. Others focus on specific areas of such cooperation, such as trade and energy; trade, environment and energy; and energy exploration and maritime delimitation disputes. The book also presents an analysis of European Union energy governance and renewable energy.
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Chapter 5: EU energy security

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Andrew Filis and Ehab S. Abu Gosh


The principal aim of this chapter is to provide the reader with an overview of the key legal considerations at play in relation to European Union (EU) energy security. As part of that process, we explore the complexities that contribute to the contentiousness of EU action in relation to certain aspects of energy. We also provide some background information on key facts and figures regarding energy in the EU. While extensive literature exists on discrete aspects of the EU–energy nexus, there is a lack of research contextualizing EU energy security through a constitutional/public law prism. We therefore intentionally take a broad view of the subject. Such an approach is relevant because of the very nature, on the one hand, of the EU, and on the other, of energy, both of which are highly complex. For instance, the EU is a complex sui generis example of interstate cooperation. For its part, energy – due to inherent and contingent reasons explored below – is highly politicized. Combining these two fields makes for potentially very contentious politics. It follows, therefore, that a public law approach in relation to the competences of the supranational aspects of the EU – in other words, a clear delineation of the competences of the EU and of its member states – would be highly pertinent towards understanding energy within the EU context. We also aim to highlight in our present work the inescapable diplomatic overtones of energy in international relations.

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