This week we met to start consolidating our research into a firts draft. We discussed the structure and aim of the report as well as going over the specific reasearch and follow up task that each other had done.
Nord Stream 2: a new gas pipeline for Europe or a geopolitical trap for Ukraine?
Summary: Due to Nord Stream 2 Ukraine would probably lose its revenues from transit fees and it may receive less political support from other European Countries regarding the ongoing conflict with Russia. That´s why Ukraine strongly opposes Nord Stream 2 and tries to convince other European countries (especially Germany) that Nord Stream 2 is a threat for both European energy supply and European security.
Summary Panel Discussion at the Heinrich Böll Foundation, March 14th 2019, Berlin
Topic of The Panel: Towards an Energy Union: The Example of the EU Gas Directive (Link to Event Calendar, GERMAN ONLY). Overall, the panel discussion was quite shallow. Future scenarios and possible EU policy strategies were barely discussed. Nevertheless, in the following some statements of the respective panelists are summarized.
Some thoughts about EU-Russian-Relations
How should the EU react to Russia’s aggression on Crimea? Is building a new pipeline not the completely wrong signal? Łoskot-Strachota/Zachmann (2014) point out several scenarios: In the short-term, the EU could stop buying Russian gas as a reaction to the Russian aggression on Crimea. However this would come with significant costs for the European consumers. In the long-term, the EU could diversify supply routes and decrease its demand for gas. Gazprom’s power is to a large extent built on its ability to price-discriminate between different import countries. Creating an internal market, including reverse flow opportunities, could take away this advantage. Thus, in the short-term the EU is quite vulnerable, but it can be more self-sufficient in the long-term, if a more resilient supply system and a more efficient gas market is built.
As a primary actor in the development of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Russia plays a key role. Gazprom, the primary company behind the project, has a legal monopoly on Russia’s gas pipeline exports, and close ties to the Russian government. Gazprom emphasizes the Nord Stream 2 project will be mutually beneficial for Russia and Europe by supplying Europe with a consistent supply of Russian gas, thereby diversifying European supply and ensuring energy security. Additional incentives for the project are clear; beyond simple economics, there are also geopolitical factors (particularly concerning Ukraine) that may contribute to the Russian motivation to complete the project.
EU Third Energy Package and Gas Directive: Need for a Cohesive Application of Legislation
The idea to have a cohesive energy policy in the EU is ingrained in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union as well as in the Energy Union, with the first point of the EU energy union strategy being: security, solidarity and trust.