The EU internal market – a stake or a tool in European-Russian gas relations

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Series Details No.54 (24.06.11)
Publication Date June 2011
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Since 2010 we have observed a new quality in EU energy policy. It is related to the European Commission’s more or less direct engagement in the bilateral gas relations of a part of the new member states – Poland, Bulgaria and Lithuania – with Russia. Although the long term outcome of this activity of the EC is as yet unclear it seems to be important for several reasons.

Firstly it might increase the possibilities of the enforcement of the EU’s directives liberalising the internal gas market and specifically their implementation in individual gas agreements with suppliers from third countries (Gazprom). The consistency and determination of the EC in this field may be decisive for the future direction and depth of the liberalisation of the EU gas market.

Furthermore, present developments may lead to an increase in EU and specifically EC competence in the field of energy policy, especially its external dimension. So what lessons can we draw from recent Commission activities on the following issues: – Implementing EU gas market 2nd and 3rd liberalisation packages and their main provisions – EU energy policy and its external dimension – recent developments and the EU’s role – EU-Russia gas relations – where Russian and EU interests diverge.

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