The European Union’s Approach to the Caspian Sea Region: The Energy-Environment Nexus
The European Union’s presence in the Caspian Sea region provides an interesting case. Over the years, the EU has progressively imported fossil fuels from the Caspian countries, while simultaneously aspiring to be a global environmental leader. Despite being an important region in terms of energy security, the EU policies and instruments do not provide an integrated approach to the region. On the other hand, the EU played an important role in establishing the Caspian environmental regime. This policy brief addresses how the EU’s approach to the region can be improved in terms of energy and environment. It is argued that Brussels should aim at developing a coherent and comprehensive energy policy to support the construction of alternative Caspian pipelines. Additionally, the EU should promote an environmental agenda and develop better energy relations with the smaller Caspian states. The recommendations suggest designing a clear vision for the Caspian Sea and aim to help the EU to develop stronger relations with the regional countries.