Geopolitical, market-oriented and normative approaches in the EU’s external energy action
The dispute between Russia and the EU over Ukraine has been widely regarded as the reflection of a more radical clash between two starkly diverging attitudes towards international politics: on the one hand, Brussels’s law-based and value-oriented approach, on the other, the “sovereignist” stance advanced by Vladimir Putin . Energy security is an issue area where this variance is most palpable, and, in particular, one that seems to bear out the widespread idea that energy relations cannot be carried out but as zero-sum game. At a close look, though, Europe’s external energy relations – even those with recalcitrant partners like Russia – are in fact driven by a complex set of norms and interests. . In the ensuing governance arrangements, liberal, principled inclinations towards a market-oriented strategy coexist with security-based approaches focusing on secure access under conditions of scarcity.