Opinion – COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL European Energy Security Strategy

The legislative triangle of the European Union

The legislative triangle of the European Union (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I strongly recommend a read of the European Commission’s (EC) strategy paper on energy security, published at the end of July 2014. This paper was cited in Nick Butler‘s excellent article in the FT entitled “Is energy security a job for Nato?”.

As an expert in strategic change, with decades of experience in both the public and private sector, I looked at the EC paper with a critical eye.

Here are some of my observations.

  1. No reference to methodology, just the source of the data and the conclusions.
  2. Assumptions ignored.
  3. No reference to the inbuilt bias of the research.
  4.  Strategy paper accepted the positions of member states and then tried to link the dots.
  5. National military strategies and role of NATO ignored.
  6. Despite increasing risk of terrorism, there was no reference to security against terrorism
  7. Even with Russia’s Putin  ready to turn off the gas tap again this Winter, the paper gave greater prominence to green issues.
  8. Paper was not linked to the EC’s fiscal policy, which has been light on investment in infrastructure, and only recently promising to stomp up and extra EUR500 million for investment in infrastructure.
  9. No linkage to the financial  policy of the ECB, which has not encouraged investment in strategic sectors, like energy.
  10. No alternative scenarios presented.
  11. No SWOT analysis.
  12. No risk analysis.

My conclusion was that this was a weak, ineffective document hastily prepared, and published in the heart of the holiday season, and probably designed to be buried in the news!

This leads me to an important open question:

Why did the European Commission publish an incomplete and flawed strategy paper on energy security?

Thoughts?

 

EUROPA – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – European Commission adopts ‘Partnership Agreement’ with Cyprus on using EU Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs in 2014-2020

The legislative triangle of the European Union

The legislative triangle of the European Union (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a MUST READ press release from the European Commission who  are planning to give Cyprus EUR700 million.   via

EUROPA – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – European Commission adopts ‘Partnership Agreement’ with Cyprus on using EU Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs in 2014-2020.

The press release will be of interest to those interested in both Cyprus and EU reform.

Whilst the EUR700 is good news, it will no doubt come with qualifications from the various EU funds. Careful reading of the document shows that the approach is “The EU has lots of money, guys how can we give some to poor old Cyprus?”.

There is no evidence of a strategic review of Cyprus. Indeed the press release fails to mention Cyprus huge offshore gas reserves.

If the EU were giving out aide in response to strategic requirements of the EU and Cyprus, it would focus on both offshore oil and gas.

Given the overall context of Europe’s crisis, the size of the EU’s available funding and the strategic importance of investing in Cyprus’ energy sector, the promised EUR 700 million is far too small.

Clearly, the EU process is paternalistic and political, so the strategic needs of both Europe and Cyprus have not really been considered. This, of course, brings into serious question the effectiveness of the European Commission.

Any thoughts?

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