This paper discusses the way EU is adapting to a new era for energy and argues the need for a reformulation of the concept of energy security. It includes a brief presentation of the possible scenarios faced by EU in the near future, as far as energy is concerned. The research used quantitative and qualitative research, as well as interviews to Russian experts, it is based in Geo4GER’s conclusions (PTDC/IVC-CPO/1295/2014), and takes the European dependence on Russia’s exports of natural gas and the threat of using energy as a political weapon as a case study. Europe has a structural weaknesses in terms of energy. It holds only one percent of the world’s conventional oil and about two percent of gas reserves, and sees Russia, its main supplier, enmeshed in a complex geopolitical problem with some neighbouring countries, and Europe as a whole. The response given by the EU to increase its energy security relies on a bet on the creation of the Single Energy Market or the Energy Union. But these initiatives faced several obstacles, arising from differences in national energy policies, the lack of a common strategy and of a prospective vision, the umbilical link between some European monopolies and Gazprom and the consequent dominance of the European energy market by big monopolies. Is there a “Russian issue”?
Keywords: European Union, Russia, Energy Security, Challenges
Instituto Português de Relações Internacionais/ Universidade Nova de Lisboa