Energy solidarity in Europe: from independence to interdependence

Within the framework of the discussions on the European Energy Community proposed by Jacques Delors, Sami Andoura analyses the role of solidarity in the development of a European energy policy and suggests recommendations for the future.

Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute is leading an in-depth study of the future of European energy policy based on a proposal made by Jacques Delors for a “European Energy Community”. Solidarity plays a key role in a European Energy Community and may later be one of the drivers of the development of an EU-wide energy policy.

While remaining realistic about what is possible within the existing framework, the following Study pursues three main objectives. It first looks at the issue of solidarity in Europe from a historical perspective and provides a realistic assessment of what the solidarity clause really means for European energy policy. It then reviews some key areas of action and the various mechanisms by which solidarity is integrated into the new European energy policy and which improve its functioning.

Lastly, this Study provides a fresh take on the solidarity clause and suggest ambitious and forward-looking ways in which Europeans can enhance their capacity to work together on this sensitive issue by further pooling their strengths and weaknesses in five key areas: solidarity in times of crisis and internal security of supply; solidarity outside EU borders (diversification and partnerships); solidarity in the optimisation of energy resources within the EU; financial solidarity; and lastly solidarity to ensure energy access for all.