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Between Conflict and Convergence: The EU Member States and the Quest for a Common External Energy Policy

C·A·P Discussion Paper

Florian Baumann, Georg Simmerl: Between Conflict and Convergence: The EU Member States and the Quest for a Common External Energy Policy, C·A·P Discussion Paper, February 2011

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08.02.2011 · Florian Baumann, Georg Simmerl


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Energy is one of the EU’s most pressing recent challenges. While a plethora of policy instruments for competitiveness and sustainability already exists, energy security and especially the external dimension of the EU’s energy policy are still underdeveloped. This paper will discuss several EU measures in the field of energy and analyse the variety of the strategies that the EU member states apply in external energy policy. Starting from the finding that these national approaches are highly path-dependent, regionally clustered, and therefore in most cases traditionally conflicting, two solutions for enhancing the Common External Energy Policy are derived. To overcome the inherent obstacles and to ensure a more convergent and sustainable development of the member states’ external energy policies in the future, the finalization of the internal energy market is the priority but can only be successful if accompanied by progress in the external dimension. In this respect, prudently institutionalised regionalisation is identified as a rewarding organising principle for certain aspects of a Common External Energy Policy, if based on a joint definition of European energy interests.


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