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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 7: The creation of the European Energy Union

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Costantino Grasso and Juan Alemany Ríos

Extract

Energy security is increasingly becoming a vital issue worldwide. This is even more the case for the European Union (EU). Indeed, coupled with the fact that the EU is the biggest energy customer in the world, the Union’s large dependency on energy supplies from the outside world renders its future on the energy front all the more hazy and uncertain. The EU’s unsteady stand is perilous to a greater extent in that it currently relies on a very sparse number of energy suppliers, which, in addition, tend to brandish energy as a political weapon.The current plight of the European continent, characterized by the Russian stranglehold on energy supplies, makes the situation untenable and calls for swift and decisive action to tackle the issue once and for all. A myriad of multiple courses of actions, both internal and external, have been sketched and suggested as a means to revitalize the EU’s frail energy security. To that end, the newly formed European Commission has launched a, seemingly, very ambitious and daring initiative: a resilient European Energy Union.Whereas the idea of such a visionary venture had already been flourishing over the last few years, when renowned commentators and think tanks brought forward the suggestion of an Energy Union, the seeds of this enterprise are now finally bearing fruit and becoming a tangible reality. Together with the clear perception of energy security being a pressing matter, the general disenchantment surrounding the European ideal in the wake of the severe economic crisis makes the current...

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