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Cover Policy-Making in the European Union

14. Energy Policy  

Sharp Challenges and Rising Ambitions

David Buchan

This chapter examines three strands of the European Union’s energy policy: the internal energy market, energy security, and climate change. Energy policy has rapidly gained in importance for the EU, as it faces the challenges of creating an internal energy market, increasing energy security, and playing an active role in combating climate change. Reform of the energy market has been a constant activity since the late 1980s and has been based on liberalizing cross-border competition, but this could be increasingly undermined by member-state intervention and subsidy to promote renewable energy and to ensure adequate back-up power. Efforts to curb energy use and to develop a low-carbon economy are at the heart of Europe’s new programmes and targets to combat climate change. The chapter shows that each of the three strands of the EU’s energy policy involve different policy-making communities and illustrate a range of different policy modes.