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European Union Energy Regionalism: An Evolution of a Model Energy Governance Process

Michael Amoah Awuah

In 1951, the founding of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) prompted a process of energy cooperation in Europe that has led to the pursuit of a European Union (EU) Energy Union by 2020. This paper explores the evolving nature of EU energy regionalism, linking historical accounts with future objectives. The Constructivism theory and logic of ‘challenge’ and ‘response’ is used to analyse the pathways taken, for the development of a regional energy governance system. The analysis underscores a three-pronged approach;• Cooperation: Pooling of production commodities (coal and steel) and Nuclear Energy which were all essential for an interdependent and viable industrial development.• Integration: Increased regulation at EU level leading to EU energy market liberalisation and the adoption of a common energy and climate policy.• Governance: A move towards completing the EU energy market integration, culminating into a harmonised common EU energy governance policy process.The paper argues that the largely supranational nature of the EU, and the divide between Western and Eastern European national interests make it difficult to unify positions into an effective common energy governance system. However, with successes chalked in other areas (regional policy, single market), the EU has the potential to develop an exemplary model.



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