Euro-Mediterranean gas cooperation : roles and perceptions of domestic stakeholders and the European Commission
Title: Euro-Mediterranean gas cooperation : roles and perceptions of domestic stakeholders and the European Commission
Author: RUBINO, Alessandro
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2016/53; BORDERLANDS
The EU external energy policy has triggered heated debate among policymakers, regulators, academia and industrial stakeholders over recent decades. This article maintains that the gas sector has been of less interest to all these parties, because of its inertia and relative backwardness, compared to the electricity and renewable energy industries. However, since the Russia-Ukraine gas disputes, matters related to Euro-Mediterranean gas cooperation are back at the forefront of the energy agenda. The ever-changing nature of the EU external energy policy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is analysed in this paper by looking at the influence that EU economic interests and approach have had on the southern neighbourhood. The paper provides an overview of the political economy of gas industry development in the EU and its relationship with exporting countries in the Mediterranean basin. It further explores how EU actions and influence as rule promoter are able to provide a valid template for the emerging regulatory framework in the region. While the changing relationship with its southern neighbourhood can be described as part of the process of progressive securitization of energy matters, EU influence can hardly be described as the focal point of gas dynamics in the Mediterranean region. Member States’ gas policies appear to have a greater traction, in consideration also of their vast and long term economic commitments.
Subject: Energy security; Energy market integration; Natural gas; Mediterranean basin
Grant number: FP7/263277/EU
Type of Access: openAccess