• During the last decade or so, the European Union has been spared little in the way of dramatic crises: the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression, the largest refugees’ inflow since the massive population transfers that concluded WWII, and now the deadliest epidemic in over a century. In conjunction with each of them, a reasonable case could be made, and has been made, that the best solution was a ‘federal’ EU state responsible for, respectively, fiscal and economic policy, migration policy, and now health policy. 

    COVID-19 Crisis EU Institutions EU Member States Resources

    Does the EU have sufficient healthcare competences to cope with COVID-19?

    IN BRIEF

    28 Apr 2020

  • The Arctic has received considerable attention over the last decade due to climate change, positive resource appraisals and the increased military presence in the region. Portrayals range from those that warn of impending conflicts to those that emphasise the region’s unique cooperative environment.

    To what extent are the generalisations about Arctic security and geopolitics accurate? What fuels these generalisations? Moreover, what is the role of the EU in this changing geopolitical environment? This article examines the causes of conflict in the Arctic and argues that the disputes over territory, resources and the North Pole are limited in magnitude.

    At the same time, the security dynamics within the Arctic are relevant, given each state’s relations to Russia. The EU’s role, however, is less a geopolitical one and more concerned with two dimensions, namely awareness and support. For EU policymakers and decision-makers, understanding the complexities of the north should take priority over re-inventing the Union’s role in the region.

    Read the full article in the December 2017 issue of the European View, the Martens Centre policy journal.

    Andreas Østhagen EU-Russia Resources Security

    Geopolitics and security in the Arctic: what role for the EU?

    Other News

    27 Nov 2017

  • Security of energy supply is one of the three main objectives of the EU energy policy, on a par with competitiveness and environmental protection. However, prominence of the energy security as a policy area rose with the 2009 gas crisis and the 2014 conflict in Eastern Ukraine, prompting the EU to adopt Energy Security Strategy.

    According to the strategy, EU countries should strengthen their ability to face possible supply disruption and improve coordination of their respective emergency and solidarity mechanisms. They should further reduce their dependency on particular fuels, energy suppliers and import routes and increase domestic energy production, while taking demand moderating measures. 

    All these goals have been long on the policy agenda of the V4 countries. After the exposure to gas crisis in 2009, considerable improvements in terms of route diversification have been made. However, there are new challenges, mainly stemming from geopolitical situation and possible new gas infrastructure that could disrupt the ongoing integration into a bigger regional gas market. V4 power sector has been long viewed as relatively unproblematic compared to gas sector but new and very serious challenges are arising with adoption of ambitious environmental policies and growing RES volumes. 

    This paper provides a brief overview of the main challenges and areas we view as problematic or particularly important. It is a subjective selection, covering only power and gas sector issues. To make the paper concise and relevant, we chose not to touch upon other important energy security related issues linked to oil, coal or nuclear fuel. Also, to put the discussion below into a context, we provide some key statistics for gas and power sector in V4 countries but we do this in the annex to save some space and maintain the focus.

    The second part of the paper contains recommendations that would help policy-makers address the current challenges and strengthen the energy security in the Visegrad region and the EU as a whole.

    Energy EU Member States Resources Security

    V4 – Energy Security and Regional Markets: Challenges Ahead

    Other

    20 Dec 2015

  • Europe and the US are witnessing a trend towards a more diffused production of services. This can be seen in the entry of a new kind of platform-based company into services markets. The driving economic factor behind this development is collapsing transaction costs enabled by new applications of the Internet.

    It is a move towards what can be called a ‘People-to-People Economy’ (P2PE), in which self-employed individuals offer services in areas such as transportation, accommodation, cleaning and dining through platforms that connect demand and supply. This article explains, first, the concept of the P2PE and, second, how it has the potential to make the European economy more flexible.

    It argues that the centre–right should not oppose, but support this development. The P2PE has the potential to transform European culture and entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, there are plenty of challenges ahead, which require policy responses such as modernising labour legislation, revising outdated regulations, tackling vested interests and providing social security for the growing number of self-employed people.

    This article will take an unwaveringly positive approach to the P2PE since this new economy will likely increase the efficiency of service production and lead to gains for the economy as a whole.

    Read the full FREE article published in the December 2015 issue of the European View, the Martens Centre policy journal.

    Juha-Pekka Nurvala Business Economy Innovation Resources

    Juha-Pekka Nurvala

    ‘Uberisation’ is the future of the digitalised labour market

    Blog

    08 Dec 2015

  • The American energy revolution has radically transformed the US energy landscape in less than a decade. Surging energy production is increasing US energy self-sufficiency, the holy grail of American energy policy for over 40 years. The US economy appears to be the biggest winner in the new energy reality. The surge in US competitiveness presents an almost insurmountable challenge for important parts of European industry.

    Yet, is the US, in the wake of diminishing reliance on foreign oil, redefining its role in the oil-rich and conflict-ridden Middle East, causing a US foreign policy revolution in the region? And is Europe on the winning or losing side of this new Middle Eastern reality?

    In this article I describe the American energy revolution and argue that, despite growing energy self-sufficiency, the US will remain deeply integrated in the global energy markets. The American energy bonanza will thus continue to have a significant, though not revolutionary effect on the global energy landscape.

    I also argue that, despite the official US rhetoric, the American energy revolution is causing a somewhat revolutionary shift in the US’s Middle Eastern policy. The US’s diminishing energy imports seem to be contributing to a less engaging role for the country in the region.

    The lack of determined American leadership to end the conflicts in Syria and Iraq is also resulting in the European refugee crisis. Without decisive action, the EU is likely to stay on the losing side of the American energy revolution on the Middle Eastern and economic front, at least compared to the US.

    Read the full FREE article published in the December 2015 issue of the European View, the Martens Centre policy journal.

    Mark Boris Andrijanič Energy Middle East Resources

    Mark Boris Andrijanič

    The American energy revolution: challenging Europe and the Middle East

    Blog

    07 Dec 2015

  • 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.

    Energy Renewable Energy Resources Security Sustainability

    Refuelling Europe: A Roadmap for completing the Single Energy Market

    Research Papers

    22 Dec 2014

  • President Putin’s decision to cancel work on the South Stream pipeline may have far-reaching consequences regarding the development of a single energy market within the EU. Although Commission President Juncker (and Bulgarian Prime Minister Borissov) have publicly stated that South Stream remains a potentially viable project, its de facto mothballing by Russia provides the EU with an opportunity to develop alternative energy scenarios in south east Europe. 

    These are scenarios which would improve both the diversity and security of the EU’s energy supply.  This IN FOCUS sets out five key reasons why the end of the South Stream pipeline should mark the beginning of moves towards an European energy union.

    IN FOCUS is a new series of commentaries in which the Martens Centre looks closely at current policy topics, dissects the available evidence and challenges prevailing opinions.

    Energy EU Member States EU-Russia Renewable Energy Resources

    European Energy Union: Why the end of South Stream should mark its beginning

    IN FOCUS

    16 Dec 2014