Regional Strategies for Energy Security: Europe’s Energy Security in light of the Ukrainian Crisis
On December 1, 2014, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) hosted a workshop as part of the Central and Eastern European Energy Security Forum (CEE ESF) project titled “Regional Strategies for Energy Security: Europe’s Energy Security in light of the Ukrainian Crisis.” It was held in Warsaw, Poland, and was the fourth in a series of off-the-record workshops on options for a coordinated and integrated approach that can link energy security to other regional, Europe-wide, and transatlantic priorities. The event focused on challenges to energy security for Ukraine and for the European Union in the context of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. It featured speakers and participants from Ukraine, Russia, EU Member States from the region, the United States, and the European institutions, including business, think tank, and government representatives. Keynote opening remarks were delivered by Polish Secretary of State for European Affairs, Minister Rafał Trzaskowski, who spoke about the Polish perspective on European energy security and the EU Energy Union.
The first discussion session focused on Ukraine’s energy market and the challenges and opportunities it faces. Panelists focused on the missing links in Ukraine’s reforms that could bring it closer to the European Union, on reshaping Ukraine’s internal energy market and securing supplies, and on Europe’s role in transforming Ukraine’s energy market. Panel two brought together experts to discuss the extent to which the Ukrainian crisis will strengthen Europe’s energy security and the EU’s plans for an energy union. Discussants examined the role of renewables and energy efficiency in the EU Energy Union, the role of neighboring countries in working with Ukraine towards greater energy security, and to what extent Europe’s internal energy market will shift EU Member States’ energy policy from a national to supranational level. The third and last panel focused on the mutual energy dependence between Europe and Russia, to what extent gas is of strategic importance to Russia and Europe, and on Europe’s and Russia’s ability to diversify away from each other.
The workshop gathered around 40 participants and concluded with a policy dinner on the geopolitics of energy in Central and Eastern Europe.