Expanding the Horizons on
The third Forum panel featured Dr. Margarita Assenova, Associate Scholar at CEPA, Václav Bartuška, Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Colin Cleary, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, and Benjamin Schmitt, Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Harvard University and former European Energy Security Advisor at the U.S. Department of State. They discussed the future of energy security in Europe. CEPA’s Executive Vice President, Réka Szemerkényi moderated the panel. Panel members stressed that technological advancements, revolutions in geoeconomics, and increased diversification of energy suppliers are leading to progress in providing consumers protection against the monopolistic practices of Russian gas companies.
While Nord Stream 2 continues to present a problem for transatlantic energy security, Dr. Assenova provided an encouraging perspective, noting that countries are working to diversify their energy suppliers to counteract the dangers presented by the pipeline. Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Cleary also addressed the topic, stating that Eastern Europe is better prepared for a gas cutoff than at any other point in its history. Furthermore, the addition of more energy exporters such as the United States is a safeguard against turbulence in the international energy market. Ambassador Bartuška argued that certain parts of Central and Eastern Europe, such as the Czech Republic, have already taken steps to achieve independence from total reliance on Russian gas with the shutdown of the Druzhba pipeline. Dr. Schmitt analyzed upcoming events that could affect European energy security, particularly focusing on the implications for Nord Stream 2. He also noted that the pipeline controversy is no longer narrowly about bringing gas to Europe, but Russia’s attempt to make the pipeline a strategic asset by bypassing Ukraine. In order to combat this threat, policymakers must make a concerted and unified effort to halt or hinder Nord Stream 2, most likely through sanctions.