Coal fired power plant. Massive Air pollution.

Balkans can ease shortages by sharing resources.

Powering Southeast Europe

April 2015, Number 06.02

“The Schuman Declaration that laid the foundations of the now vast and complex European Union had one main objective: to prevent another devastating conflict in Europe. And it had one main mechanism for achieving its objective — making war “materially impossible.”

The founding fathers of the EU knew painfully well — “unthinkable” is not enough. Europe was recovering from two consecutive world wars that at some moment in time had been unthinkable. However, they did happen. We are now witnessing another unthinkable conflict unfolding in front of our eyes — the aggressive erosion of Ukraine.

The rational agreements that were supposed to make future European conflicts unthinkable are failing. And in this degradation of the post-war European order, energy is playing a key part.

Ukraine runs one of the least energy-efficient economies. The energy waste and the distorted, or even nonexistent, energy market made the country highly dependent on energy imports from Russia. The amalgamation of the political and the energy-sector elites made the country highly vulnerable to external influence...”

Excerpt from Julian Popov, Powering Southeast Europe,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues  6, No. 2, 2015: 24-29.

Julian Popov is chairman of the board of directors of the Buildings Performance Institute Europe, fellow of the European Climate Foundation, energy security advisor to the president of Bulgaria and a former minister of the environment in Bulgaria. He also leads the Southeast Europe Grid Initiative.

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