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.
- No reference to methodology, just the source of the data and the conclusions.
- Assumptions ignored.
- No reference to the inbuilt bias of the research.
- Strategy paper accepted the positions of member states and then tried to link the dots.
- National military strategies and role of NATO ignored.
- Despite increasing risk of terrorism, there was no reference to security against terrorism
- Even with Russia’s Putin ready to turn off the gas tap again this Winter, the paper gave greater prominence to green issues.
- 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.
- No linkage to the financial policy of the ECB, which has not encouraged investment in strategic sectors, like energy.
- No alternative scenarios presented.
- No SWOT analysis.
- 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?