An analysis of energy security: with reference to oil imports in relation to the European Community
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This thesis analyses the subject of energy security within the context of the European Community. Energy security as a concept may be seen as the threats facing a state, measurable, in this instance, by the level of oil imports, and the measures taken to ensure the continued security of supply and the reduction of dependence. It is also a concept which has a further two dimensions that of vulnerability and of sensitivity, both of which are components of interdependence. The European Community is reliant on a high degree of oil imports to meet its consumption requirements and it is thus vulnerable to an interruption in its supply. This vulnerability has implications for all sectors of a state's economy particularly transport. The European Community's energy policies, evolved as a response to not only its high degree of dependence, but also to the two oil crises of the 1970s and as such are reflective of a reactive stance to past events. On the whole, it is doubtful whether its present energy policies, with their continuing aims of securing adequate energy supplies; reducing dependence; developing secure and competitive alternatives to oil; containing energy consumption and restricting oil's share in total energy consumption, will prove effective in the event of another oil crisis. However, EC energy policies also have to be seen within the wider context of the European Community and whether they are indicative of a common energy policy. The Community energy policies do not fulfil the requirements of a common policy mainly because of the divergences apparent among the various member states and, more importantly, because of the lack of a mandate in any of the Treaties to adequately cover all aspects of energy.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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