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European Union's energy diplomacy in the wider Black Sea region

[journal article]

Dudau, Radu; Lenes, Leonela

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Abstract The present paper discusses the strategic importance that the Caspian Basin hydrocarbons (especially natural gas) have to the EU's energy security, against the background of EU's increasing dependence on gas imports from the Russian Federation. The political engagement of various political actors of the EU (the European Commission, but also Member States and international energy majors) is analyzed with respect to the advancement of the competing transport projects transiting the Wider Black Sea Region. While discussing the dimensions of EU's energy policy, the paper focuses on the energy security contribution that the Southern Gas Corridor is expected to make, as well as on the systemic constraints and opportunities brought by Brussels' new energy policy initiatives. Special attention is given to the recent articulation of a unitary and coherent energy diplomacy approach by the European Commission, and the proposal of a major investment plan in energy infrastructure. However, the paper argues that too little, too late may have been undertaken in order to turn EU's Southern Corridor into a robust and credible diversification alternative to the Russian-owned or controlled gas transport lines.
Keywords EU; energy policy; energy supply; natural gas; infrastructure; transportation; Russia; international relations
Classification European Politics; Special areas of Departmental Policy
Free Keywords security; energy diplomacy; energy geopolitics; Wider Black Sea Region; EU energy policies; Southern Gas Corridor; Nord Stream; South Stream; Nabucco
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 83-101
Journal Eurolimes (2011) Supl. 3
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution