Forming the European Union Common External Energy Policy: Key Events and Results

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-5-39-48
O. Yudina (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation

Received 08.05.2020.

Abstract. Energy has always been of particular importance to the European Union. Meanwhile, up to the beginning of the 21st century, this area had been in exclusive competence of member states, with timid attempts of the European Commission (EC) to receive part of the powers in the energy sphere. The article is devoted to the issues of the EU common external energy policy development that was accompanied by a dichotomy of interests between the member-states, which hardly like the idea of the energy sector communitarisation, and the European Commission, which has been the main driver of supranationalisation of the energy sphere for a long period of time. The author characterizes the main achievements towards the EU common external energy policy, including the law regarding the export of energy to neighboring non-member countries through various organizations, such as the Energy Community, the Eastern Partnership, MEDREG, and launching of the European Energy Union (EEU) in 2015. Special attention is paid to external factors that facilitated the enhancement of the European Commission’s role in the energy sphere. The new era for the EU common external energy policy started in 2015 with the EEU and energy security as one of its priority, partly due to the gas crises and political tension between the European Union and Russia. It is noted that the EEU has facilitated the adoption of some EC’s legal proposals that could not be adopted for a long time, such as the mechanism of consultations on new intergovernmental contracts. In general, the creation of the Energy Union should certainly be seen as strengthening the supranational energy competences of the European Commission. It is concluded that the European Commission has made a significant progress towards a common external energy policy, strongly supported by the public opinion that the European Union should speak one voice with third countries. Despite the lack of legally supported competencies in energy for the EC, it gained authority in different directions of the EU energy policy development. Under these circumstances, the common energy market that has led to energy interdependence of the member states, forces them to cooperate at a supranational level. The author argues that third countries should clearly understand the dynamic and processes of communitarisation of the energy sphere and adopt their cooperation with the European Union based on this knowledge.

Keywords: European Union, common external energy policy, European Commission, Energy Union, communitarisation


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For citation:
Yudina O. Forming the European Union Common External Energy Policy: Key Events and Results . World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 5, pp. 39-48.

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