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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

08 March 2006

Solana on the EU’s energy security

Javier Solana, the EU high representative for foreign policy, argues in the Financial Times for more dialogue with producer countries; he writes that, “most producers and all consumers have a shared interest in maintaining a stable, transparent framework in which the pricing mechanism can function as freely as possible. This means no unilateral measures and no ‘politicisation’ of energy exports to punish foes or reward friends. What we need is an orderly combination of markets, law and consensual negotiations.”

I have written elsewhere about why I think this overall approach is wrong (“Russia & energy security,” 25 Jan 06): “The more fundamental issue for energy security is whether it is possible to reconcile two competing visions of energy: producers wanting to form political partnerships and exert influence using their natural wealth, and consumers wanting access to that wealth with as few strings attached as possible.”

Mr. Solana recognizes that the EU needs to make its own market much more competitive. But the main  premise of energy security should be to recognize not the promise of markets alone, but their fundamental limitation in dealing with an essentially political issue.

Javier Solana, “Why Europe must act collectively on energy,” Financial Times, 8 Mar 06

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