In 2006, debates about ‘energy security’ reached the top of the EU’s political agenda. A conjunction of political and economic factors seemed to be critically affecting the security of supply in most EU member states. A wide range of actors called for the establishment of a ‘Common Energy Policy,’ based on a fully operational Internal Energy Market and equipped with an external dimension enabling the EU to speak with one voice in the world. The results of this heated debate, however, fell short of these objectives. Informed by securitisation approaches, this article explores the debate over energy security that unfolded between 2005 and 2007. It aims to provide an understanding about why the framing of energy as a security issue did not mobilise enough support in favour of ground-breaking measures to tackle what was unanimously presented as a unique and especially hazardous situation. Specifically, the article will argue that those attempts to frame energy as a security issue in order to gain support for a Common Energy Policy have been of limited effect, precisely because the security framing contributed to the further legitimisation of EU member states’ reluctance to cede sovereignty in the energy domain.
EU external energy policy, securitisation
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