EU energy policy
- The importance of energy for Europe
- EU Internal energy market
- EU energy supply
- Appraisal and outlook of EU energy policy
- Bibliography on EU energy policy
Successive oil shocks, their impact on the economic and monetary system at international and EEC level and Community efforts to reduce its dependence on imported oil are the closely interrelated problems which topped the economic agenda in the1970s. The Community was ill prepared to cope with these problems, for when the founding Treaties were signed in the 1950s, it was almost self-sufficient in energy and hoped that a new source - atomic energy - would soon take over from coal, the traditional source. Time proved otherwise and it was oil which made a spectacular entry onto the Community market in the1960s.
In that two Community Treaties dealt uniquely with the energy of the past (coal - ECSC) and the perceived one of the future (nuclear - Euratom), the Commission did not have the legal instruments at its disposal to assume responsibilities in the energy sector (oil - EEC) which had since become the dominant player. The Community perceived the risks of its dependence from imported oil during the October 1973 energy crisis. From 1974 onwards, Community objectives began to be defined and steps taken to reduce dependence on imported crude oil and petroleum products. It was from this point that a common energy policy began to take shape at a snail's pace.