House of Lords European Policy Brief, London, November 2014 .
The biggest energy policy challenge that the European Union faces besides climate change is security of supply. Policy recommendations on EU energy security commonly either invoke the need for more EU hard power – such as stronger external energy policy, a tougher stance towards Russia, stronger “pipeline diplomacy” with alternative suppliers of oil and gas – or more attractive soft power – primarily a matter of improving the working of the single energy market and persuading non-EU states in the near abroad to adopt similar market-oriented regimes. This brief assesses the EU’s policy tools in the energy sector, and explores whether what might be labelled ‘soft power with a hard edge’ can amount to a consistent and realistic policy strategy. Read the Policy Brief.