Defining Euro-Mediterranean Energy Relations

Francesca Vantaggiato

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter investigates the process of issue redefinition of Euro-Mediterranean energy relations operated by the European Commission (EC) over time. Section 1 reviews several themes, characterizing the literature on the European Union (EU) external energy policy, insofar as it is applied to Euro-Mediterranean energy cooperation. It then proposes to use policy formation literature to understand how priorities emerged and/or shifted in EU external energy policy and how they were discursively framed. Section 2 reconstructs the stages in the history of Euro-Mediterranean energy cooperation. The launch of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the failed endorsement of the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) are highlighted as key turning points in the discursive definition of Euro-Mediterranean energy cooperation. Section 3 examines the most recent energy policy debate in light of the insights gained from the previous two sections. Section 4 is a conclusion. The analysis highlights three facts. First, Euro-Mediterranean regional energy cooperation was located within the realm of the EU’s energy policy; since 2004, the EC moved it to the “external relations” framework, to recently embed it into its Foreign and Security Policy. Second, since the enlargement and in particular since Russia–Ukraine gas disruptions, the political salience of import dependency on Russia increased, causing the EC to predicate its policy interest in Euro-Mediterranean energy cooperation on drawbacks in its relations with Russia. Third, the failed endorsement of the MSP brought prospects of regional electricity market integration to a standstill, pushing the EC to fall back on existing policy templates such as the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the ENP, and the concept of a “pan-European Energy Community.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRegulation and Investments in Energy Markets
Subtitle of host publicationSolutions for the Mediterranean
EditorsAlessandro Rubino, Ilhan Ozturk, Veronica Lenzi, Maria Teresa Costa Campi
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780128044360
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cite this