mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Buying Smarter
EU Proposes Much-Needed Energy Union

The European Commission submitted a proposal for the creation of a bloc-wide energy union this week. The New York Times reports:

The European Commission, the bloc’s executive agency, said its proposal for an energy union represented an important step toward unifying member countries’ economies and could help wean some countries from dependence on Russia, which supplies about a quarter of the bloc’s natural gas. […]

But the ambitious plans — including some initiatives that have failed to win Europewide approval before — face difficult odds because the 28 European Union countries zealously guard their sovereignty over national energy systems.

This is going to be an uphill slog for Brussels. The national energy policies vary widely across Europe, from nuclear-dependent France to coal-consuming (and green-crazed) Germany to states in central and eastern Europe that are heavily dependent on Russian gas. Some in Europe have secured favorable prices and terms for their own gas from Moscow and may not want to sign onto a broader union if it means a worse deal.

That’s exactly why this would be such an important step for the EU, however. Russia has long employed the age-old technique of dividing and conquering with its gas sales to Europe. An energy union, however politically difficult to achieve, would disable one of Putin’s favorite levers. It should accordingly be a priority for Brussels.

Features Icon
show comments
  • LarryD

    “Gentlemen, we must all hang together, or we will certainly hang separately.”

    I don’t think Putin, or other outside events, has concentrated their minds sufficiently. A rational energy policy, even accepting AGW as preached, would emphasize nuclear energy, out of necessity. Too much of the EU is too far north for solar energy to be more than a niche source, even ignoring that solar and wind are the most expensive forms of energy. And any ‘green’ that excludes nuclear energy as part of the solution either isn’t serious about their own ideology, or is holding out for a massive die off.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    I don’t understand, I thought the EU already had free trade across all its borders. In any case, I’m of the opinion that the EU and the Euro are on their way to disintegration, just like what happened to the USSR and the Warsaw Pact.

  • Fat_Man

    Just as good an idea as an EU wide currency union. It does give one an impression that the Brussels Bureaucracy has a very flat learning curve.

  • S.C. Schwarz

    If some countries go green and others don’t the greens are at a significant energy cost disadvantage. Solution: Everybody has to go green! Sadly China won’t play along. Just another step in the accelerating fall of the west.

  • ljgude

    Maybe it is a good idea, and maybe the Fat Man below is right, but in any case it is like a brave show of family unity with divorce thick in the air.

  • Corlyss

    Geez! they seem so detached from reality. Do they have to HELP their enemies destroy them?

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service