Column

Nord Stream 2: The Elephant in the Room

February 7th 2017 - 11:26

Last week the European Commission released its second ‘State of the Energy Union’. According to the Commission the EU remains well on track to reach its 2020 targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewables.

In the area of security of supply, the Commission highlighted achievements in building natural gas interconnectors, the fact that new liquid gas (LNG) terminals entered into operation and that work had begun on parts of the Southern Gas Corridor, a gas pipeline project in the Caspian region.

Notwithstanding this progress, the State of the Energy Union failed to make a single mention of the biggest issue that threatens to derail much of the work: the planned Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

The silence was simply deafening.

It is high time the Commission takes its responsibility and drafts a thorough impact assessment of the project in legal, environmental and economic terms writes Sijbren de Jong in his latest column for EUobserver.

The article was featured in 'the Daily Vertical'; Radio Free Europe's daily Russia brief; by 'Raam op Rusland', a Dutch online news outlet dedicated to analysis and debate on contemporary Russia; and by Polish news website Biznes Alert.

The Slovak edition of Euractiv also highlighted the column in a recent article on Nord Stream II.

Photo credit: Lenny K Photography via Foter.com / CC BY

Sijbren de Jong is a Strategic Analyst at HCSS and lecturer in Geo-Economics at Leiden University, The Hague. He has a PhD in EU external energy security relations from the University of Leuven and holds degrees in Economic Geography (MSc) from the University of Groningen and Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding (MA) from the University of Leuven. His geographical areas of expertise include Russia, Central Asia and the Caspian Sea Region; Central and Eastern Europe; and the Western Balkans.