chapter  12
17 Pages

Guidelines for a European energy security policy


Part III of the book began in Chapter 10 with a review of the evolution and current status of the EU’s energy pol icy focusing on its im plica tions for energy secur­ity.­ It­was­ briefly­ explained­ there­ that­ national­ pref­er­ences­ and­ de­cisions­ have often prevailed over the common inter ests, and that a truly common market for­ energy­ does­ not­ exist­ at­ present.­ However,­ meas­ures­ are­ gradually­ being­ adopted that are steadily heading in that dir ec tion and the EU’s norm ative inter­ ven tions during the past decade provide some grounds for op tim ism about the inception of a new Euro pean energy pol icy. Chapter 11 tested the convergence of energy secur ity pol icies of the EU member states and found that a somewhat modest pro cess of Euro peanization is taking place but it is a pro cess of differen­ tiated­convergence.­With­this­situ­ation,­it­is­unclear­that­a­one-­fits-all­approach­ could succeed in achieving a common Euro pean energy secur ity pol icy but this approach should be preserved as a pol icy objective. ­ If­Euro­pean­energy­secur­ity­is­to­be­achieved­through­the­coexist­ence­of­dif­ ferentiated models, the relation between energy pol icy co ordination and energy secur­ity­will­become­a­central­issue­in­the­future,­and­therefore­it­will­be­exam­ ined in the present chapter. The long­ lasting dilemma between the national sover eignty of the member states and the al tern ative of acting with ‘one voice’ in­ energy­ secur­ity­ mat­ters­ is­ ana­lysed­ first.­ Then­ the­ EU’s­ joint­ pro­vi­sion­ of­ energy secur ity is introduced as an optimum that has to be pursued, and the potential in this area of the soft power wielded by the EU is highlighted. The chapter ends with a summary of the main guidelines that the EU could use to handle its energy secur ity policy. The acquis communautaire related to energy en com passes a huge number of regulations and meas ures which make up the framework for the design of the Euro pean energy pol icy in the future,1 as was con sidered in Chapter 10. It was said then that the pillars or pri or ity areas of the EU’s energy pol icy are sustain abil ity, com petit iveness and secur ity, and that all three are to be bound together­ by­ efficiency.­ These­ ob­ject­ives­ have­ gradually­ shaped­ the­ EU’s­ energy pol icy. Since this book is focused on energy secur ity, attention will be paid mostly to this pri or ity area, but occasional ref er ences will be made to sustain­abil­ity­and­com­petit­iveness­as­ the­ three­are­ in­ex­tric­ably­ linked­ to­one­ another.