2 – 2018 (vol.72)

Europe’s energy relations: between legacy and transformation

In the recent past, several events have impacted the European energy trade relations and shaped EU energy diplomacy. These energy relations are bound to change again with the implementation of the EU’s energy and climate policies. In this dossier dedicated to energy in Europe, several experts from the Clingendael International Energy Programme (CIEP)‍‍[1] offer insights into the evolving political relations in oil, natural gas and the transition towards a cleaner energy mix. The authors illustrate the room to improve coherence of EU and Member State energy policy-making, both from an energy perspective and from the broader perspective of international relations.

The internal and external dynamics of EU energy relations

The first contribution provides a critical overview of the overarching factors that shape Europe’s external energy relations and the changing internal relations between EU countries.

Energy transition: What about the internal EU energy market?

Trouble in the European internal energy market is brewing, if not already visible today. It is clear that the urgency to decarbonise the EU energy system is recognised, but the route to achieve decarbonisation is far from clear.

Bone of contention or instrument of peace? Discussing the role of gas in the EU’s relations with suppliers

Gas trade plays an important role in shaping the external relations of the EU, particularly with near abroad countries in the Middle East and North Africa and the Former Soviet Union. But can the same be said for the role gas plays in the relations between the EU and gas exporting countries? More broadly, how does gas influence Europe’s standing in the global arena?

Changing crude oil trade flows and oil diplomacy

The EU has always played a prominent role in international oil affairs. Much of the EU energy debate and diplomacy is focused on natural gas, while the share of oil in total energy demand is larger. What then explains the low intensity of EU oil diplomacy?

The Dutch energy economy: the energy gateway to Northwest Europe

The function of the Netherlands as an important gateway or hub for the Northwest European energy market has created strong interests in international energy trade. This fifth article gives insights into the distinct nature of the Dutch energy economy, highlighting its integration into international energy markets, and discusses how the effect of national policies must be understood in the international context.

Energy fundamentals

The final contribution in this dossier presents a visual overview of several energy-related developments and facts such as the energy demand, consumption and production, value chains, oil & gas reserves, interregional oil, gas & coal trade flows.


The Clingendael International Energy Programme (CIEP) acts as an independent forum for governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, the media, politicians and others who are interested in changes and developments in the energy sector: http://www.clingendaelenergy.com

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Cover image: Gorilla