European cooperation was founded on industrial and energy resource sharing principles. This shared interest became the driving force of our economy and of the creation of the European Union (EU). However, whereas productivity and stability were the watchwords of the past century, the present context calls for a stronger focus on security, optimization and sustainability. This evolution in objectives underline the European Union’s ambition to secure a brighter future for its citizens. The new energy security package proposes to strike the perfect balance between a number of key issues. It reflects on the progress made by several national and regional organizations in a dynamic and constantly evolving geopolitical context. The agenda is set and the priorities ready to be scrutinized in this edition of The European Files.
The scope of national priorities spreads across differing opinions on security versus affordability. Simply put, national energy markets are healthiest when there is the balance between independence from imports and low prices for consumers. However Europe is divided on how to achieve this. Sources for cheap and cleaner energy are growing around Europe, spearheaded by countries like Norway and Cyprus. New energy suppliers are emerging, supported by new gas discoveries around the world and the development of liquefied natural gas. At the same time, new Russian gas export projects are being brought to the table. This is in addition to a new pipeline from Russia, though support for this great increase in capacity falters as Europe’s world vision differs greatly from Russia’s.