EU energy policy and regional co-operation in South-East Europe: managing energy security through diversification of supply?
For decades after founding the ECSC (1951) the member states have relegated the issue of joint supranational energy policy development. The situation changed decisively in the early 1990s, with the dramatic shift in the geo-politics of the resource-rich Eurasia, following such developments as the collapse of the USSR and the Gulf War. In light of these developments, European states gradually consolidated their position in favour of supranational energy policy development. This paper presents an analysis of developments in EU energy policy given the ongoing realignment of strategic interest. It outlines the process of Europeanization, identifying caveats in the security of energy supply. It then proposes a solution to the main problematic of diversification of hydrocarbons supply through the fostering of regional co-operation amongst the states of South-East Europe (mainly Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey). The paper argues that this is the only viable and lasting solution to EU energy dependency away from Russia, at once showing the fundamental importance of pipeline ‘mapping’ in the area.
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