Linking the European Union to the Energy Charter Treaty and the Energy Community
Energy Charter Knowledge Centre Review, Issue 3, May/June 2014, pp. 16-19
5 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2014
Date Written: 2014
The European Union (EU) is for its most part dependent on the world outside its borders for a steady and secure energy supply. The EU borders, or is close to, areas rich in energy-related natural resource endowments – such as Russia, the Caspian Sea, the Middle East and North Africa regions, and Norway – from where the bulk of energy imports into the EU are sourced. The collapse of the Soviet Union and of the bureaucratic regimes in Central and Eastern Europe – which precipitated the opening up of those economies to globalization and its attendant processes – has increasingly made their energy-related natural resource endowments available on global markets. Developed, yet energy-poor, Western economies – many of which have galvanized behind the EU – saw opportunities to enhance their energy security through those economies on the brink of collapse. To that end, the EU has sought to entangle those energy-rich (or otherwise ‘energy-significant’ states, e.g., regarding energy transit) areas into multilateral regimes – such as those based on the Energy Charter Treaty and the Energy Community. While both these special regimes count among their numbers several parties that are not EU member states, they are not neutral in their ontology, given that these regimes, since their inception, are inherently linked to the energy interests of EU economies. The present paper presents an analysis of these regimes and their systemic relationship to the EU.
Keywords: Energy Charter Treaty; Energy Community; European Union; EU energy security
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