External action and energy policy

electricity pylons © EUelectricity pylons © EU

Growing demand, volatile prices and occasional interruptions to Europe’s energy supply all underline clearly the need for a common and coherent EU energy policy. The EU must make sure that it adopts measures and creates partnerships that guarantee the security of its energy supply.

A 2007 proposal presented a package of measures to establish an energy policy that would tackle climate change while boosting energy security and competitiveness. An action plan followed, emphasising the need for an external energy policy that brings together consumers, producers and transit countries. Under the heading ‘International partnerships’, action points included the strengthening of energy efficiency in energy and trade treaties, agreements, dialogues and other cooperation arrangements.

Strategic Energy Reviews since then have expanded upon new rules to further strengthen the security of gas supplies.

The EU’s key energy partners are Russia, Norway, the US, India, China and OPEC. Energy dialogues are underway with each. Memoranda of Understanding have also been signed with key energy partners, while regional cooperation initiatives such as the Black Sea Synergy, the Eastern Partnership, the Union for the Mediterranean and the Central Asia Strategy also contain energy components.