On 5 December 2014 oil prices hit a new five-year low. Since then, prices slumped further, dipping below the $50 mark, before bouncing back to a low $60 in late February after oil majors began announcing cuts in their capital expenditure. Low oil prices for developed countries is positive news as it can lower consumer prices, needed in an era of low economic growth for the West. Yet for fragile oil-exporting states, the picture is less positive. A prolonged period of low oil prices will negatively impact a number of fragile states. At a time of austerity and defense cut-backs in Europe, and a United States that is pivoting to Asia, what are the consequences for stability in the EU neighborhood?
Read the op-ed written for EUobserver by Sijbren de Jong (HCSS), Daniel Fiott (Institute for European Studies, VUB Brussels) and Jasper Ginn (HCSS) here.