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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Energy politics in the European Union is characterized by a combination of intergovernmental and supranational forms of governance. Scholars analyze the EU’s energy politics through the lenses of various theoretical approaches, with intergovernmental and neofunctional/supranational approaches dominating. The two approaches explain certain dynamics within the EU and the balance of power between Brussels and the member states. Energy policy is guided by the strategic energy triangle of sustainability, competitiveness, and energy security. The EU’s Energy Union marks a substantial shift: internally, to incorporate energy security as a primary objective together with sustainability and competitiveness; and externally, to use the EU’s economic weight and regulatory power in relation to external actors. Given its multilateral and rules-based character, the EU sui generis relies on a corresponding international environment and the liberal global order. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future research on EU governance to achieve its climate and energy targets, the role of the EU in the global energy landscape, and the impact of energy transformation.

Keywords: EU, energy politics, Energy Union, external energy relations, integration, integration theory, intergovernmentalism, neofunctionalism/supranationalism, governance

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