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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 4: Unconventional fossil fuel sources and EU energy security

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Costantino Grasso and Juan Alemany Ríos


Chapter 4 examines the system of law and governance of international trade in unconventional energy sources. Currently, there is no cohesive governance for global energy trade. On the contrary, governance of energy trade mainly arises by default, rather than design, through the ad hoc interplay of different aspects of the international economic and political system. This has implications for the European Union (EU), which relies heavily on the rest of the world for its energy supply, and consequently its energy security. The chapter provides some background to EU energy policy; it then explains the current revolution in unconventional sources of fossil fuel and how it may geopolitically impact the EU. The last section concludes the chapter and provides some policy recommendations.

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