How does the Search for Energy Security Affect EU Policies in Other Issue-Areas?
This policy brief addresses the question of how the EU’s search for energy security does – or does not – affect EU policies in other areas. Due to the fact that the EU has to import energy commodities to meet its energy needs, and that coping with the challenge of energy supply is defined as one of the three main goals of the EU’s energy policy , the focus of this brief will be on the issue areas that may affect the EU’s relations with the main suppliers of energy. When designing and implementing energy security policy, one has to address at least four issues: availability, affordability, energy efficiency and stewardship. Availability relates to the relative independence of and diversification of energy fuels and services; affordability means not just lower but also stable prices and equitable access to energy services. Efficiency has to do with improved performance and the deployment of more efficient energy equipment and changes in social behaviour. Stewardship focuses on the question of sustainability, ensuring that energy systems are socially acceptable and not harmful to the environment. One could also expect that when addressing energy security related questions, the EU could also be guided by values and norms that the Union itself preaches, linking for instance energy trade with the issue of human rights.