Is energy really flowing from East to West? NARCIZ BĂLĂŞOIU AND DUMITRU ŞARANUŢA
As a concept that gained a lot of traction in the past few decades, energy security is concomitantly one of the most discussed topics in security studies and one of the least well defined. The most general definition of the concept tackles energy security as the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price. However, when applied to a state, it showcases its capacity to assure the vital energy needs, either from internal sources or contracting it from certain suppliers, while also having reserves and/or back-up suppliers (in other words, having a flexible and robust energy inflow). The basic underlying supposition is that all the possible risks can be taken into account, analysed and mitigated, through careful strategic planning and coherent and sustained policies. However, there are multiple aspects to be taken into consideration. For once, we can talk about long term energy security, which deals mainly with the strategic need to keeping the supply of energy in line with the forecasted economic growth (as energy can be seen as the engine of any economic activity) or short time energy security, which deals with mitigating the risks of disruptions and energy crisis caused by unreliable suppliers (due to military conflict, accidents, political pressure etc).