The EU's Soft Power with a Hard Edge: Implications for EU Policy Strategy and Energy Security

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GR:EEN Policy Brief 37
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The biggest energy policy challenge that the European Union faces besides climate change is security of supply.  Policy  recommendations on  EU  energy security commonly either invoke the need for more EU hard power – such as stronger external energy policy, a tougher stance towards Russia, stronger “pipeline diplomacy” with alternative suppliers of oil and gas – or more attractive soft  power – primarily  a matter of improving  the  working of the single energy market and persuading non-EU states in the near abroad to adopt similar market-oriented regimes. This brief assesses the EU’s policy tools in the energy sector, and explores whether what might be labelle d ‘soft power with a hard  edge’ can amount to a consistent and realistic policy strategy.