Energy security has always being one of the main economic and political problems of Western Europe. Over the last two years the European Union found and then lost its energy independence. Russia played a crucial role in this, first by signing natural gas supply agreements with the EU and then, this winter. making a political issue out of it, in relation to Ukraine. In short, Moscow put a big question mark this winter over the supplies of natural gas to EU countries, ostentatiously using its abundant energy resources as a strong political weapon.

Then the Kremlin signed some weeks ago three huge energy supply agreements with Beijing, creating more insecurity, over the question if Russia has enough production to serve all those obligations. After these developments the EU has clearly understood that in the coming decade energy supplies will play a much more evident political role than before. In view of these new energy parameters, the big Western European countries started constructing their own national energy schemes, on the one hand trying to protect their own market and on the other to take advantages of the neighbours.

It was a real destruction of the common EU energy policy. During the spring EU summit two weeks ago, the Commission warned the 25 leaders that erecting national impediments to a real common EU energy policy will lead nowhere and the outcome will be a large number of small and segmented energy markets within the Union. Unfortunately there was no positive reaction from the “25.” Now the Commission takes its case a step further, by reminding them of their obligations to the common energy strategy. To this end, Brussels sent last week a real avalanche of 28 letters of formal notices, to 17 Member States, asking them to monitor the implementation of the legislation on the internal energy market. It remains to be seen what the outcome will be out of this new step.