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Aerial view of Tankers and other vessels waiting off shore Marseille's port in Martigues on October 17, 2010, where two oil terminals are blocked by strike action.

The continent’s fragmented energy market

Declaring European Energy Independence

October 2012, Number 03.04

“European dependence on foreign energy creates unacceptable long term strategic vulnerabilities for Europe and Russia. Russia’s encouragement of European energy dependence has yielded significant influence over policy outcomes, but at the cost of economic dependency on unequal partners in Europe’s energy sector. European vulnerability to Russian energy policy is, in part, a function of Europe’s highly fractured, national-level energy policy. Russia can act with a singularity of purpose to influence individual European nations without directly jeopardizing its European Union-wide energy market.

As a single policy actor, Russia has successfully balanced its energy influence and vulnerabilities. Policymakers in individual European countries, by contrast, tend to view energy policy in terms of small scale engagements with Russia and other energy exporters. European energy agreements primarily arise in the form of technical economic agreements at the national level, rather than as coordinated EU efforts. The strategic cost of Europe’s current energy model can carry adverse consequences for Europe and Russia...”

Excerpt from Bailey W. Brown, “Declaring European Energy Independence,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 3, No. 4, 2012: 30-35.

Maj. Bailey W. Brown serves as a judge advocate for the U.S. Army and legal advisor to the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. Previous assignments include deputy staff judge advocate, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort McPherson, Georgia, and brigade judge advocate, 18th Engineer Brigade (Theater Army), Bagram, Afghanistan, 2005–2006. He earned a law degree from the University of Georgia, a bachelor’s degree from the University of the South and a master of laws degree from the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, U.S. Army, Charlottesville, Virginia.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.