EUROPEAN FOREIGN POLICY SCORECARD 2016

European security issues

20 - Diversification of gas-supply routes to Europe

Grade: A-
Unity 4/5
Resources 4/5
Strategy 5/5
Impact 4/5
Total 17/20
Scorecard 2015: C+ (9/20)
Scorecard 2014: C- (7/20)
Scorecard 2013: C+ (10/20)
Scorecard 2012: B- (12/20)
Scorecard 2010/11: B- (11/20)

Member states took important steps to increase interconnectivity and decrease energy dependency on Russia 

A major development in European energy policy in 2015 was the creation of a strategy for a European Energy Union, first proposed in April 2014. The concept has evolved from its initial focus on threats to energy security to a fully-integrated internal energy market, tackling deficiencies in interconnectivity between the gas networks of EU member states. This would allow European countries to easily resell gas to one another, lessening their dependence on Russian-controlled pipelines.

Recent agreements to build gas interconnectors between Poland and Lithuania, Hungary and Slovakia, and possibly between Bulgaria and Greece, will help diversify these countries’ gas supply. The year saw a revival in the regional approach to interconnectivity, with the creation of a number of high-level groups addressing the problems of regions in Europe that are vulnerable, relying heavily on gas from one supplier. Some of these groups include countries that are not part of the EU, such as the Western Balkans, or even of the Energy Community (a grouping of EU and southeast European countries), such as Turkey.

Despite Russia’s threats of gas cut-offs, Ukraine, with the EU’s facilitation, has proved to be a reliable transit country, while reducing its own dependency on Russian gas. The Commission is closely monitoring another gas pipeline project, Nord Stream 2, which is meant to bypass transit countries from Russia to Germany, and is opposed by a number of Central and Eastern European countries.

The nuclear deal with Iran, the current energy surplus, as well as the installation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in new facilities across Europe have opened up some serious energy alternatives. The Commission has made energy a priority, including in bilateral relations between the EU and its neighbouring countries, most notably in the southern Mediterranean, Azerbaijan, and Central Asian countries.