The Balkans and Euro-Atlantic Energy Security

The Balkans and Euro-Atlantic Energy Security

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Abstract

Europe’s current energy crisis underscores its failure to deal adequately with the problems posed by increasing dependence one Russian gas. Particularly in the Balkans Russia’s oligopolistic position if not monopoly in some countries adds to its leverage upon them, stimulates corruption and state capture, and in general inhibits the European integration project. Nevertheless, there are opportunities to bring more gas into the Balkans and through them to Central Europe to reduce Russia’s hegemonic position in the gas market and reverse the trend towards illiberalism and poor governance that marks the region. Albania’s example and the connections to its neighbors that flow form its EU-approved plan illustrate what should be done and how such programs would improve energy and governance, if not security, in the Balkans and Europe as a whole.

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