The European energy market emerged primarily due to economic interests under the European Coal and Steel Community with politics overtaking only in 1973 because of the oil embargo. Politics in energy affairs has been prevailing on the EU agenda since 2007 after the “third energy package” was introduced and Ukraine played a significant role as a catalyst for progressive development. Since 2014, politics has been dominating energy sector development in the EU because of Russia’s aggressive behaviour against both Ukraine and the Member-States.
Andriy Chubyk for UA: Ukraine Analytica
The EU started to influence the European energy sector in 1996 systematically with the first package of liberalization directives. It has not yet introduced significant incentives for energy market development besides a higher degree of competition. The second package of liberalization directives followed in 2003 with a prolonged timeframe for its implementation and the aim to initiate unbundling as the instrument to counter energy monopolies. However, in 2007 the European Commission published a competition enquiry, claiming significant malfunctions of the energy legislation in force. The above was a result of a very strong superiority of national political interests over general European energy market needs and the resistance towards a new paradigm — a customer-oriented approach versus energy monopolism. Germany and France specifically were strongly against radical market changes, trying to protect their own big energy companies from losing their power on the market.
External challenges in the form of an oil embargo in 1973, the above-mentioned “gas crisis” and the necessity to ensure energy imports have little effects on European foreign energy policy