European Council on Foreign Relations

Energy Union: view from Rome

Following the announcement of the shared Polish-French idea to develop an EU Energy Union, we’ve asked ECFR  staff from Berlin, Rome, Sofia, Warsaw, and Madrid, to contribute to our “View from the capitals” series. How do the different member states view the proposal? Are the governments going to support it? 

On the occasion of the dual papal canonisation and his visit to Rome, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The two discussed the Ukrainian crisis and EU energy security, focusing on the recent Polish-French proposal for an Energy Union. 

The Polish-French project represents an important input for a further discussion among European member states, a discussion long overdue and whose urgency has been demonstrated by the Ukrainian crisis.

Europe is still lacking a common and coherent energy policy that could guarantee

Read more…

Energy union: the view from Berlin

Following the announcement of the shared Polish-French idea to develop an EU Energy Union, we’ve asked ECFR  staff from Berlin, Rome, Sofia, Warsaw, and Madrid, to contribute to our “View from the capitals” series. How do the different member states view the proposal? Are the governments going to support it? 

There have only been a few official statements from the German government on the Polish idea of a European Union Energy Union, signalling the former’s reservations over the utility of the idea. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed support for the diversification of the EU’s energy supplies but only within the framework of the concept that the European Commission developed after Russia and Ukraine interrupted gas supplies in 2009. She does not see a necessity for additional steps for a common gas purchase at the moment and is sceptical about a concept that could

Read more…

The Polish initiative for an energy union

Following the announcement of the shared Polish-French idea to develop an EU Energy Union, we’ve asked ECFR  staff from Berlin, Rome, Sofia, Warsaw, and Madrid, to contribute to our “View from the capitals” series. How do the different member states view the proposal? Are the governments going to support it? 

The 10th anniversary of Poland’s European Union membership, commemorated on 1 May, was not only an occasion to celebrate but also to take tangible steps towards achieving political goals. Just a day later, Warsaw hosted the European gas summit with – among others – Günther Oettinger, the EU energy commissioner, and Russian and Ukrainian ministers to talk about the difficult issues regarding gas and oil imports from Russia. The Ukraine conflict has had a considerable impact on Poland’s geopolitical environment after ten years of relative stability and security. In fact,

Read more…

Energy Union: view from Sofia

Following the announcement of the shared Polish-French idea to develop an EU Energy Union, we’ve asked ECFR  staff from Berlin, Rome, Sofia, Warsaw, and Madrid, to contribute to our “View from the capitals” series. How do the different member states view the proposal? Are the governments going to support it? 

In principle, Bulgaria should be amongst the leading beneficiaries from the proposed Energy Union considering that it is currently paying top dollar on long-term contracts with Gazprom, its exclusive supplier (on average, $501 per 1,000 m3). Similar to Poland, it finds itself dependent on Russia but even more so given the limited interconnectivity with neighbours: Romania is the only one providing an extra cross-boundary line, but it is not, however, operational at this stage. Interconnectors with Greece and Turkey, yet to be completed, would allow Bulgaria to tap into

Read more…

Energy Union: view from Madrid

Following the announcement of the shared Polish-French idea to develop an EU Energy Union, we’ve asked ECFR  staff from Berlin, Rome, Sofia, Warsaw, and Madrid, to contribute to our “View from the capitals” series. How do the different member states view the proposal? Are the governments going to support it? 

The crisis with Russia over Ukraine has got many in Europe discussing measures to lessen European energy dependence on Russia, including a timely proposal for an energy union. In this context debate in Spain has been discussing the country’s potential as a gas supplier to Europe.

Spain does not rely on Russian gas – it imports gas from Algeria and other countries. This, together with its geographical position as a European port of entry, and the fact that it has a number of under-used re-gasification plants, could make Spain an alternative energy supplier to other European

Read more…

Latest Publications

Partners for Life: Europe’s Unanswered ‘Eastern Question’

Dramatic change may not be on the cards, but the EU can and should shift to a ‘status quo plus’ approach that builds on existing activity.

The coming clash: Why Iran will divide Europe from the United States

Europe must salvage the nuclear deal with Iran and step-up robust diplomacy with Teran on regional issues.

Grand Designs: Does China have a ‘Grand Strategy’?

The Chinese Communist Party Congress in October will indicate whether China has departed from its ‘peaceful rise’ in favour of an ambitious grand strategy.

Publications

Exploring EU Coalitions

New essay collection points way to potential coalitions for flexible European cooperation

The transatlantic meaning of Donald Trump: a US-EU Power Audit

The election of Donald Trump has changed everything except European attitudes toward American security