The Creation of a European Energy Union
The Creation of a European Energy Union / Rafael Leal-Arcas & Juan Alemany Rios. Queen Mary University of London – School of Law, June 2015, 48 p. (Legal Studies Research Paper No. 206/2015) (A paraître in European Energy Journal, n°16, 2015)
Energy security is one of the main problems that humanity faces today and the European Union (EU) has to rely on energy-rich countries for its energy needs. The European Innovation Union, the Energy Community, and the Europe 2020 initiative address energy security as a priority, but policies seem to be reactive instead of addressing energy security in its complexity. This problem can be solved with appropriate legal tools. Energy governance has links with several policies: trade, investment, environmental protection, energy transit, energy security, finance, et cetera. Of these policies, energy trade has a high impact for European energy security policy. Currently, the international community does not address trade in energy as a cohesive entity and its governance is fragmented.
The paper explores the institutional legal framework for the creation of a European energy union, whose aim is to achieve affordable, secure and sustainable energy. This energy union is based on five pillars, which are analyzed: security, solidarity and trust; the completion of a competitive internal market; moderation of demand; the decarbonization of the EU energy mix (i.e., greater use of renewable energy); and technologies. The EU is the first region in the world to set up the ambitious target of decarbonizing its economy by 2050. The paper then looks at the energy union in the context of the rule of law. All of this could be reproduced in other regions of the world and eventually create a new international energy order. This requires a fresh and comprehensive approach to legal instruments.