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EU Member States’ Energy Relations with Russia: Conflicting Approaches to Securing Natural Gas Supplies
Department of Politics, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands.
2011 (English)In: Geopolitics, ISSN 1465-0045, Vol. 16, no 3, 574-599 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

European Union (EU) member states' `failure' to cooperate on energy policy towards Russia has been much criticised in the media and by policy analysts since the mid-2000s. This article analyses member states' choices to ensure domestic supply security by either increasing gas supplies from Russia or by reducing gas imports from Russia. The article seeks to explain why the member states pursue energy supply objectives towards Russia that are opposed by other member countries, despite the official commitment to acting `in a spirit of solidarity'. It argues that the member states' choices are informed by their assessment of the geopolitical reality and its expected impact on their national energy supply security. This is, in turn, informed by their perceived vulnerability that stems from their geographic location, historical experience and bargaining position vis-à-vis Russia. The analysis shows that calls in the EU for `solidarity' regarding the security of natural gas supply serve primarily as a cover for the pursuit of individual and not collective EU interests. The rhetoric of `solidarity' and the need for cooperation in the EU also serves the European Commission's interest in acquiring a more important role in external energy policy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 16, no 3, 574-599 p.
Keyword [en]
European Union, Russia, energy policy, energy security, energy supply security, natural gas supply, EU member states, CFSP
Keyword [sv]
Europeiska unionen, Ryssland, energipolitik, gasledning, EU medlemsländerna, GUSP, yttre politik, energiförsörjning, energiförsörningstrygghet
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-66332DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2011.520864OAI: diva2:467510
Available from: 2011-12-19 Created: 2011-12-19 Last updated: 2015-08-25Bibliographically approved

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Schmidt-Felzmann, Anke
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