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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.
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Chapter 2: Multilateral, regional and bilateral energy trade governance

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Costantino Grasso and Juan Alemany Ríos


The of energy is changing: on the supply side, the US is now one of the major energy suppliers; on the demand side, traditionally, oil moved from the East to the West and money travelled from the West to the East. This is now changing with the rise of emerging markets, which are increasingly in need of higher levels of energy consumption for their rapidly growing economies (especially China and India) and partly due to the fact that less efficient economies require more energy. Moreover, the EU is growing economically less than it was before the 2008 economic crisis and increasingly uses less fossil fuel as part of its energy mix, which also explains why there is a shift to the East in energy consumption. To contextualize this chapter, a further fact worth mentioning is that 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.The current chapter 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). Regionally, for the sake of brevity, we will focus on five major regional agreements and their energy-related aspects. When it comes to bilateral energy trade governance, and again for the sake of brevity, this chapter will only address the European Union’s bilateral energy trade relations.In Section II, we will analyse the multilateral energy trade...

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