Introduction: The European Energy Union: The Quest for Secure, Affordable and Sustainable Energy
The European Energy Union: The Quest for Secure, Affordable and Sustainable Energy, Claeys & Casteels Publishing, 2016
8 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 9, 2016
This timely book shows how the creation of a European Energy Union might be an effective and viable solution to the energy security problems that the European Union (EU) is facing. The aim is to make it easier to trade energy inside the EU. The EU currently has to rely on energy-rich countries for its energy needs, many of whom are politically and economically unstable. This places the EU in a vulnerable position.
The book explores the institutional and legal framework for the creation of a European Energy Union, whose aim is to achieve affordable, secure and sustainable energy. This Energy Union is based on five pillars, which are analyzed: security, solidarity and trust; the completion of a competitive internal market; moderation of demand; the decarbonization of the EU energy mix (i.e., greater use of renewable energy); and technologies.
The book explores what the EU is politically prepared to accept as part of its unified energy security. Combined with the perception of energy security being a pressing matter, the general disenchantment surrounding the European ideal in the wake of the economic crisis makes the task of ensuring affordable, secure and sustainable energy a formidable challenge. In that vein, the European Energy Union could well be the flagship of this new outset towards a more prosperous, energy-secure and unified Europe, bearing in mind that EU Member States wish to guard their sovereignty over national energy systems. In the past, there have been divisions between EU Member States when trying to draft a unified energy policy. The European Energy Union tries to rectify this deficiency.
This book proposes the emulation of the EU’s common commercial policy to reach a common position in EU energy policy. It analyzes the role of the Energy Community and the Euro-Mediterranean Energy Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Caspian region, the Southern Gas Corridor and a few Russian gas pipeline projects as avenues to further integrate energy markets beyond European borders. It also dwells on the advancements that could arise in terms of pan-European energy infrastructure through the anticipated financial boost resulting from, inter alia, the Investment Plan for Europe, the European Structural and Investment funds, and the Connecting Europe Facility. Finally, it provides an analysis of climate change mitigation by focusing on the importance of decarbonizing the economy and analyzing the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Keywords: EU Energy Union; energy security; TTIP; decarbonization; Paris Agreement on climate change; EU ETS; Southern Gas Corridor
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