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The failure of Ostpolitik

In November 2011, Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski said in the context of the euro zone debt crisis: “I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity.” At the moment, the Polish government feels the same way about Germany’s foreign policy on Russia. Poland looks forward to Germany taking real responsibility in the international arena, and so articulating a strong position on the Ukraine crisis.

From the Polish perspective, Berlin’s previous policy focused exclusively on the establishment of economic and social interdependencies with Russia, while ignoring other aspects of multilateral relations. When challenged by Putin’s hawkish geopolitical game, this policy failed bitterly. For this reason, Poland has warmly welcomed signals that Germany’s posture towards Russia has changed. There are high hopes that the new rhetoric that has emerged in the

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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