Energy Union Europe's New Liberal Mercantilism? (Palgrave 2017) is an collection of essays on EU and international energy politics, market and policy, edited by Svein S. Andersen, Andreas Goldthau and Nick Sitter.
The EU plans for an Energy Union epitomize a shift in the EU’s approach to managing its economic power. The EU is now debating how to use its market might in the shape of a $17.5 trillion economy and a 450 bcm gas market not only for setting market standards but for political ends such as energy security. Whilst the EU remains committed to a liberal approach to international political economy, it seems to be ready to promote regulation for the purpose of augmenting its own power at the expense of others’. The book brought together high-level contributors from academia and the policy world in order to shed light on this qualitative shift in the EU's use of power in one of its most crucial policy fields. The book thus contributes to the ongoing debate about the EU as a global actor, EU’s ability to speak with one voice in energy affairs, and the external dimension of the regulatory state.
The editors will present the main findings reported in the book, and proceed to discuss recent developments in the EU and international political economy with the panelists. Internally, many of the issues that have long been prominent in energy policy – differentiated integration, the challenges of accommodating different national regularity regimes, the importance of politics in seemingly technocratic decision making – have become topical questions on other policy sectors too. Externally, an increasingly assertive Russia and the uncertainties associated with the new US administration’s trade and security policy means that the kind of debate between liberalism and mercantilism the Energy Union plans fostered in the energy sector is increasingly pertinent to wider debates about the EU’s economic and political external power.