The Ukraine crisis has reignited debate in Europe surrounding the EU’s lack of a fully functioning single energy market. It has brought home to all member states the general need for a more coordinated energy policy, even though they may differ on aspects of what needs to be done. This research highlights that integration of the internal single energy market should still be the EU’s main instrument to reach its three goals of cost competitiveness, security and emission reduction.
A roadmap for completing the single energy market is proposed based on a harmonised EU-wide system of renewable energy subsidies and significant infrastructure investment in many Central and East European member states. These smart investments would form part of a coherent, long-term investment plan for the European energy sector and would enable these member states to improve their energy security through greater investment in gas storage and interconnectors.
The goals of energy security, affordability and sustainability have never been higher on the EU’s agenda. All three goals would be served if Europe truly unified its energy market. National leaders have it in their hands to complete this slow and difficult integration process, if they can just summon up the necessary political will to do so.