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Energy Policy in the European Community: Conflicts Between the Objectives of the Unified Single Market, Supply Security and a

Policies for energy and the environment in Europe were previously the preserve of national governments, but the Commission of the European Community has gained a role in both policy areas in the past few years. This was due to the 1987 Single European Act which, in effect, extends the writ of competition law throughout the energy and other previously "excluded" sectors, the desire to reduce acid rain and greenhouse gas emissions, and reaffirms Europe's renewed concern for long-term oil and gas supply security after the Gulf War and the disintegration of the USSR. The Commission's proposals for the unified internal energy market were driven by concern for competition and free market forces, and seemed to exclude any scope for long-term policy considerations. This paper argues that the implementation of those proposals will be uneven and protracted, and that the Commission's more recent proposals for reducing CO2 emissions and the European Energy Charter appear to mark positive steps towards a long-term strategy for a clean environment, energy efficiency, and oil and gas supply security.

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Energy Specializations: Energy and the Economy – Energy as a Productive Input; Energy and the Economy –Economic Growth and Energy Demand; Energy and the Economy – Resource Endowments and Economic Performance; Energy and the Economy – Energy Shocks and Business Cycles

JEL Codes:
O13 - Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
Q34 - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
F44 - International Business Cycles

Keywords: Energy policy, Europe, Energy security

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol13-No3-11

Published in Volume 13, Number 3 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.