The Russian Presence in Key European Countries’ Energy Market – Conference and study
A joint conference was held in Budapest by Policy Solutions Institute and the Greens of the European Parliament on the 18th of March on the role of Russia on the European energy market.
From among the speakers of the conference, MEP Benedek Jávor named energy dependency the most pressing issue of Europe in conjunction with the migration crisis. In his opinion Russia’s negative influence both on Europe and Hungary partially leaks through the developments of the energy market. This dependency on Russia is present not in the form of gas-dependence, but also of nuclear dependence and through the influence of Russian players among company owners in the energy market.
An additional problem, Mr. Jávor pointed out, is the influence of the Russian secret services on energy market decision-making processes, which poses a national safety threat as well. He urged action to be taken in the form of, for example, gaining intelligence on the existing risks as well as recognizing that the solution reaches beyond the simple diversification of gas supply sources. He also called attention to the need of the strict application of existing EU regulations as well as the establishment of new legal procedures.
Tamás Boros, director of strategy at Policy Solutions (a Hungarian institute for political advice and analysis), introduced the institute’s recent study, made in collaboration with the Greens, on the topic of Russia’s role in the EU energy market and the energy dependency of various Eastern European countries as well as Germany, Austria, Finland and Greece. The study shows that the majority of these countries rely heavily on Russian energy import and Hungary is one of the least independent countries, as its dependency on Russia is determined by its gas, oil and nuclear energy needs. Mr. Boros pointed out, however, that the dependency is mutual, as Russia is dependent on money coming from Europe.
Julia Sokolovicova, adviser for the East-Central European segment of Greencpeace, called attention to the strengthened dependency on Russia in connection with the European projects of Rosatom.
The abovementioned study of Policy Solutions has recently been published and is now available in English by clicking here.