Barroso declines to comment on options for NATO top job


Asked today (24 July) if he had plans to be the next NATO secretary-general, Commission President José Manuel Barroso declined to comment. The race for the job, which will become available next year, has already started, sources told EurActiv, with Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem considered the favourite. READ MORE

Czech President Rejects Commission Proposal For Deeper EU Integration

By Daniel Mclaughlin

The dream of European Commission president José Manuel Barroso of turning the European Union into a “federation of nation states” has already fallen foul of one of the most trenchant sceptics of deeper integration – Czech president Vaclav Klaus. READ MORE

Turkmenistan’s Gas Export Potential: New Implications for Europe

By Vladimir Socor

BP’s latest annual Statistical Review of World Energy has revealed Turkmenistan’s proven gas reserves as even bigger than previously assessed (see accompanying article). From Ashgabat’s perspective, European gas markets must look more lucrative and reliable compared with Turkmenistan’s existing export markets in China, Russia, and Iran (let alone the proposed trans-Afghan export route). The westward direction remains the only missing direction for Turkmenistani gas exports. Turkmenistan has started construction of the East-West pipeline, to run from its eastern gas fields to the Caspian coast, there to connect with a westbound trans-Caspian pipeline. Ashgabat proposes to deliver 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) annually through this line, and another 10 bcm annually from its Caspian offshore fields, for onward transportation to Europe after 2016. Turkmenistan plans to finance the overland pipeline from its own budget, but is running into problems with funding and subcontracting some of the work. READ MORE

EU Pushes India to Sway Iran into Resuming Nuke Talks

The European Union has asked New Delhi to use its influence to draw Iran back into talks over its disputed nuclear ambitions, Indian TV channels said on Friday. READ MORE

Third Energy Package: dispute between Russia and the EU

By Česlovas Iškauskas

During the visit in Brussels on 24 February, Vladimir Putin tried to push own energy policy model to the EU. Negotiations were indeed very difficult and parties didn’t manage to coordinate their positions. But the EU’s third internal energy market package took effect on 3 March. READ MORE

Europe's southern gas corridor: The great pipeline race

Several pipeline projects are competing with one another to bring to life the southern gas corridor – a vague blueprint to supply Europe with gas from the Caspian and the Middle East. EurActiv takes a look at the various European initiatives, including their common competitor: Russia's South Stream project. READ MORE

EU, Azerbaijan sign deal on gas supplies

BAKU – Azerbaijan and the European Union signed a deal Thursday that commits the Caspian country to supply Europe with "substantial volumes of gas" to implement the planned Southern Corridor of pipelines bypassing Russia, the EU said. READ MORE

Any changes in Ukraine’s foreign policy?

By Arūnas Spraunius

In the interview to the Latvian daily ”Diena” former Ukrainian president  V.Yushchenko said that European policy often looks like the natural merit not requiring any evidence, and that integration of Ukraine into EU is perceived as one-sided, i.e. exceptionally the Ukrainian act. Europe assigns to the candidate tasks but cannot avoid dual policy on such issues as security, energy, visa policy and defense. European Union would benefit from the accelerated integration of the country with 46 million citizens; therefore the current slow down of Ukraine’s euro integration should be treated as a bad decision. According to V.Yushchenko, his country has always been within the system of European values. READ MORE

Nabucco to merge with South Stream?

The European Nabucco natural gas pipeline project and its Russian competitor South Stream could merge, a U.S. diplomat said, in what would be a surprising turn to the years-long pipeline war. READ MORE

Sale of Azeri Gas Field Will Test EU's Pipeline Strategy

By Alessandro Torello

BRUSSELS — Europe's efforts to diversify its sources of gas supply face a critical test early next year when Azerbaijan and some of the world's largest energy companies are expected to choose a buyer to take the biggest share of gas from a giant field they are developing in the Caspian Sea. READ MORE