EU-Russia trading relations : the challenges of a new gas architecture
EU-Russia trading relations : the challenges of a new gas architecture / Catherine Locatelli. European Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 39, n° 2, April 2015, pp. 313-329
Author’s abstract :
Gas security is a key factor in the European Union’s energy policy. Contractual relations based on long-term contracts during the 1970s and 1980s led to relative stability in energy trade between the EU and its gas suppliers. But since the mid-1990s, the process of opening up the EU’s gas industries to competition and the desire to create a single gas market has led to an in-depth reorganization of the sector. The EU now intends to redefine the way in which it manages its relations with its main suppliers, such as Russia, by attempting to impose a model based on competition, unbundling of network industries and privatization. Russia does not intend to implement this « EU model » in its gas sector, despite the big changes taking place in its domestic market. An approach based on the preferential use of state instruments conflicts with the multilateralism and principles of competition upheld by the EU. The EU’s normative power is thus in contradiction with the institutional environment of the Russian energy sector. It is therefore unlikely that energy relations between the EU and Russia will be structured solely on standards stemming from international rules and institutions.