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Cybersecurity of critical energy infrastructure

25-10-2019

The European Union (EU) has a high level of energy security, enabled by oil and gas reserve stocks, and one of the most reliable electricity grids in the world. However, a number of established and emerging trends pose new challenges to the security of energy supply, notably in the electricity sector. The production, distribution and use of energy is becoming increasingly digitalised and automated, a trend which will further increase with the transformation towards a distributed carbon-neutral energy ...

The European Union (EU) has a high level of energy security, enabled by oil and gas reserve stocks, and one of the most reliable electricity grids in the world. However, a number of established and emerging trends pose new challenges to the security of energy supply, notably in the electricity sector. The production, distribution and use of energy is becoming increasingly digitalised and automated, a trend which will further increase with the transformation towards a distributed carbon-neutral energy system and the growth of the 'internet of things', which means that more and more networked devices will be connected to the electricity grid. This provides increased opportunities for malicious actors to carry out attacks on the energy system, notably cyber-attacks, possibly in combination with physical damage and social engineering. It also increases the risk of inadvertent disruption. Hackers are becoming increasingly capable, and are already probing and exploiting vulnerabilities in the energy system, as a number of incidents outside the EU have demonstrated.

Living in the EU: Climate Change and Energy

30-04-2019

The European Union (EU) has been protecting the environment since the early 1970s, considering economic prosperity and environmental protection interdependent. As energy policies are a competence shared between the EU and its Member States (MS) joint strategic planning is strongly developed. Human activities can have adverse impacts on the environment, and subsequently on our well-being. Therefore, it is vital to monitor how MS perform in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy supply, ...

The European Union (EU) has been protecting the environment since the early 1970s, considering economic prosperity and environmental protection interdependent. As energy policies are a competence shared between the EU and its Member States (MS) joint strategic planning is strongly developed. Human activities can have adverse impacts on the environment, and subsequently on our well-being. Therefore, it is vital to monitor how MS perform in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy supply, considering that alongside the energy model, human behaviour of EU citizens represents the key element to prevent climate change.

Countering hybrid threats: EU and the Western Balkans case

06-09-2018

The aim of the workshop, held on 26 February 2018, was to assess and discuss the EU’s approach to hybrid threats in its neighbourhood using the Western Balkans as a case study, in the context of the extensive use of propaganda by Russia and its meddling into several elections and in the aftermath of the 2014 events in Ukraine and the Russian annexation of Crimea. The first speaker, Jean-Jacques Patry, presented the concept of hybrid threat at various levels and the EU approach and measures to tackle ...

The aim of the workshop, held on 26 February 2018, was to assess and discuss the EU’s approach to hybrid threats in its neighbourhood using the Western Balkans as a case study, in the context of the extensive use of propaganda by Russia and its meddling into several elections and in the aftermath of the 2014 events in Ukraine and the Russian annexation of Crimea. The first speaker, Jean-Jacques Patry, presented the concept of hybrid threat at various levels and the EU approach and measures to tackle it, particularly in the Western Balkans. The second speaker, Nicolas Mazzucchi, delivered a presentation on Russia’s declining influence in the Western Balkans (on behalf of Isabelle Facon, who authored the briefing but could not attend the workshop) and added some of his own analysis on energy and cyber issues. The presentations were followed by a debate with members of the Security and Defence Committee of the European Parliament.

Външен автор

Isabelle FACON, Nicolas MAZZUCCHI, Jean-Jacques PATRY

Energy as a tool of foreign policy of authoritarian states, in particular Russia

27-04-2018

Russia and other energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy exports for economic gains but also as a tool of foreign policy leverage. This study looks at the ways and methods these states have used to exert political pressure through their energy supplies, and what it means for the European Union. Most energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy wealth to ensure regime survival. But, more than others, Russia uses its energy wealth as well to protect and promote its interests in its ‘ ...

Russia and other energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy exports for economic gains but also as a tool of foreign policy leverage. This study looks at the ways and methods these states have used to exert political pressure through their energy supplies, and what it means for the European Union. Most energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy wealth to ensure regime survival. But, more than others, Russia uses its energy wealth as well to protect and promote its interests in its ‘near abroad’ and to make its geopolitical influence felt further afield, including in Europe. It uses gas supplies to punish and to reward, affecting both transit states and end-consumers. This study explores how supply disruptions, price discounts or hikes, and alternative transit routes such as Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream, are used by Russia to further its foreign policy ambitions, feeding suspicions about its geopolitical motives. The lack of transparency about Russia’s energy policy decisions contributes to this. In response, the EU is building an Energy Union based around the Third Energy Package, a more integrated European market and diversified supplies. By investing in new supplies, such as LNG, and completing a liberalised energy market, the EU will be better able to withstand such energy coercion and develop a more effective EU foreign policy.

The EU's Russia policy: Five guiding principles

08-02-2018

While EU-Russia relations had long been difficult, in 2014 they took an abrupt turn for the worse, after Russia illegally annexed Crimea and fomented separatist insurgencies in eastern Ukraine. To date, little progress has been made towards ending the Ukraine conflict. In addition, new sources of tension have emerged, for example: Russia's military backing for the Assad regime in Syria, and alleged Russian interference in EU politics. In the short term, an easing of tensions seems unlikely. In March ...

While EU-Russia relations had long been difficult, in 2014 they took an abrupt turn for the worse, after Russia illegally annexed Crimea and fomented separatist insurgencies in eastern Ukraine. To date, little progress has been made towards ending the Ukraine conflict. In addition, new sources of tension have emerged, for example: Russia's military backing for the Assad regime in Syria, and alleged Russian interference in EU politics. In the short term, an easing of tensions seems unlikely. In March 2016, EU foreign ministers and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, agreed on five guiding principles for EU-Russia relations: full implementation of the Minsk agreements; closer ties with Russia's former Soviet neighbours; strengthening EU resilience to Russian threats; selective engagement with Russia on certain issues such as counter-terrorism; and support for people-to-people contacts. Implementing each of these principles faces major difficulties. The EU is unlikely to lift sanctions against Russia while implementation of the Minsk agreements remains stalled; the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood remains a zone of confrontation; EU security is threatened by dependence on Russian energy imports and the destabilising effects of aggressive propaganda; EU-Russia cooperation on international issues has become a victim of tensions between the two sides; repressive Russian legislation obstructs EU support for Russian civil society; diplomatic tensions are mirrored by mutual suspicion between ordinary EU citizens and Russians. This is an updated edition of a briefing from October 2016.

Sanctions over Ukraine: Impact on Russia

17-01-2018

In early 2014, Russia violated international law by annexing Crimea and allegedly fomenting separatist uprisings in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. The European Union, the United States and several other Western countries responded with diplomatic measures in March 2014, followed by asset freezes and visa bans targeted at individuals and entities. In July 2014, sanctions targeting the Russian energy, defence and financial sectors were adopted. These sanctions have not swayed Russian public ...

In early 2014, Russia violated international law by annexing Crimea and allegedly fomenting separatist uprisings in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. The European Union, the United States and several other Western countries responded with diplomatic measures in March 2014, followed by asset freezes and visa bans targeted at individuals and entities. In July 2014, sanctions targeting the Russian energy, defence and financial sectors were adopted. These sanctions have not swayed Russian public opinion, which continues to staunchly back the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine. Despite Western efforts to isolate Russia, the country is playing an increasingly prominent role on the global stage. On the other hand, sectoral sanctions have proved painful, aggravating an economic downturn triggered by falling oil prices, from which the country has only just begun to recover. Sanctions have affected the Russian economy in various ways. The main short-term impact comes from restrictions on Western lending and investment in Russia. Oil and gas production remains unaffected for the time being, but in the long term energy exports are likely to suffer. Meanwhile, Russian counter-sanctions are benefiting the country's agricultural sector, but consumers are losing out in terms of choice and price. Quantitative estimates of the impact are difficult, but most observers agree that sanctions are costing Russia billions of euros a year and holding back a return to higher rates of economic growth. This is an updated edition of a briefing from March 2016, PE 579.084.

Third report on the state of the energy union

07-12-2017

On 24 November 2017, the European Commission adopted its third report on the state of the energy union, which was presented to the Parliament during the November II plenary session. This report outlines the significant progress made in delivering on the energy union, as well as the further steps that need to be taken to complete this goal by the end of the current parliamentary term. The report was accompanied by several new documents, reports and studies relating to EU energy policy.

On 24 November 2017, the European Commission adopted its third report on the state of the energy union, which was presented to the Parliament during the November II plenary session. This report outlines the significant progress made in delivering on the energy union, as well as the further steps that need to be taken to complete this goal by the end of the current parliamentary term. The report was accompanied by several new documents, reports and studies relating to EU energy policy.

Facing Russia’s Strategic Challenge: Security Developments from the Baltic to the Black Sea

17-11-2017

The EU and NATO are facing an increasingly uncertain and complex situation on their eastern and south-eastern borders. In what the EU has traditionally conceived as its ‘shared neighbourhood’ with Russia and NATO its ‘eastern flank’, Moscow is exhibiting a growingly assertive military posture. The context of the Baltic and the Black Sea regions differs, but Russia’s actions in both seem to be part of the same strategy aiming to transform the European security order and its sustaining principles. ...

The EU and NATO are facing an increasingly uncertain and complex situation on their eastern and south-eastern borders. In what the EU has traditionally conceived as its ‘shared neighbourhood’ with Russia and NATO its ‘eastern flank’, Moscow is exhibiting a growingly assertive military posture. The context of the Baltic and the Black Sea regions differs, but Russia’s actions in both seem to be part of the same strategy aiming to transform the European security order and its sustaining principles. The Kremlin seems to follow similar policies and tactics, mainly through the militarisation of the Kaliningrad Oblast and Crimea as the centrepiece of its strategy of power projection vis-à-vis NATO and the EU. An all-out war remains an unlikely scenario, but frictions or accidents leading to an unwanted and uncontrolled escalation cannot be completely ruled out. Tensions and military developments take place in both the Baltic and Black seas, but are not only about them. Russia is testing the Euro-Atlantic response and resilience at large. To assess how far it might be willing to go, it is necessary to evaluate how Russia perceives the West and its actions, taking into account the deep and entrenched clash of perceptions between Brussels and Moscow, and the worldview of the latter.

Външен автор

Nicolás De Pedro, Research Fellow, CIDOB, Spain; Panagiota Manoli, Research Fellow, ELIAMEP, Greece; Sergey Sukhankin, Associate Expert, ICPS, Ukraine; Theodoros Tsakiris, Research Fellow, ELIAMEP, Greece

THE IMPACT OF BREXIT ON THE EU ENERGY SYSTEM

15-11-2017

This study provided by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) shows that the energy-system related impact of Brexit on EU citizens and companies will be limited. The EU will be able to complete its market, achieve its climate and energy targets and maintain supply security. It appears likely (although not guaranteed) that the UK will continue to maintain sensible environmental policies and safeguard the rights of EU companies ...

This study provided by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) shows that the energy-system related impact of Brexit on EU citizens and companies will be limited. The EU will be able to complete its market, achieve its climate and energy targets and maintain supply security. It appears likely (although not guaranteed) that the UK will continue to maintain sensible environmental policies and safeguard the rights of EU companies in the UK. However, special attention on the impact of Brexit on the Irish energy system is warranted.

Russia in the Western Balkans

06-07-2017

The Western Balkans have emerged as a front in Russia's geopolitical confrontation with the West. Building on close historical ties, Moscow is taking advantage of the political and economic difficulties to expand its influence, potentially undermining the region's stability.

The Western Balkans have emerged as a front in Russia's geopolitical confrontation with the West. Building on close historical ties, Moscow is taking advantage of the political and economic difficulties to expand its influence, potentially undermining the region's stability.

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