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The Common Energy Market of the Eurasian Economic Union : Implications for the European Union and the role of the Energy Charter Treaty

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Published
2018
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The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is often compared to the project of the European Union (EU). While one of the most common comparisons is the institutional structure of the EAEU, another important point of resemblance when noting the development of the Eurasian integration is the energy component. Russia stresses the security of demand as one of primary issue of its national security and energy plays an important role in the country's external relations, while for other EAEU members the security of supply makes an important part of their economic prosperity. Similar to the EU, where energy became one of the driving forces behind the European integration, the initiative of a common energy market can play its in the process of Eurasian integration. If created, the EAEU energy market would be one of the largest energy markets in the words. Strategically located, it would comprise a population of about 182 million and represent resources-rich countries, which collectively posses 14,6% of the world's oil and 17,3 of its gas production. 

Although it is unclear how quickly this integrated market will emerge, any reform move would present the EU with a new policy dilemma in its wider-neighbourhood: the common Eurasian energy market could either build new bridges in the region or deepen the fragmentation of energy markets and therefore worsen the current state of affairs between the EU, the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia. This paper aims to explore the effects that the emerging common energy market will have on the EU and its Energy Community project. The paper will give a brief overview of how the common Eurasian energy market is being founded, of existing divergence of interests and market asymmetries of respective EAEU Member States, and point to possible implications for the EU. In conclusion, the paper will provide some recommendations for EU-EAEU relations in the energy sector, including the possible role that can be played by the Energy Charter in the context of EU-EAEU relations.

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