For many years, the EU has been vocal about its ambition to become a powerful global actor. Finding a proper arrangement of relations with its biggest neighbour, Russia, has been the principal test of the viability of this aspiration. However, the recurrent crises Russia has triggered – especially the recent recognition of the breakaway republics […]
Looking at our globe from above the North Pole, we are shocked at how tiny our Europe is. Russia, however, our Eastern neighbour, seems to be a giant. And indeed, Russia’s territory and military capacities are gigantic by European measures. On the other hand, the population of the EU is more than three times bigger […]
When Vladimir Putin first invaded Ukraine in 2014, Europeans had a simple choice: increase or decrease their energy dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Europeans chose to increase. National governments like Spain and France could have freed themselves from Russian gas just by implementing their own national building renovation plans. But they chose not to.
Last March, Spain and Portugal reached a historic agreement: for the first time ever, two European countries could set a price cap on gas for power generation, for a period of twelve months. A period to seek agreements was opened in both countries, which ended on 9 June, when the European Commission gave the final approval to the mechanism. This undoubtedly proves that the current European Union is very different to the European Union we were living in during the financial crisis of the last decade.
The UK is no longer part of the European Union, but it is a critical player in the European gas market. As the EU seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, it relies on proximate non-EU states for access to an alternative gas supply, transport, and transit source. This requires cooperation, not competition or exclusion.