The Security of Natural Gas Supplies in the European Union Policy

The European Union is expected to embark in the overhaul of its economy announced by President von der Leyen, and much debate remains over the future of natural gas. Its environmental credentials against coal and oil put it in an ideal position to be the bridge fuel of the energy transition. However, the safety of its supply to the European market has been for the last two decades a source of significant concern for European legislators, making vital to adopt an ambitious European agenda to ensure the credibility of the gas sector. The present work aims at describing the rationale of such agenda, discussing the main steps that led to the definition of the current framework. For this purpose, the text addresses separately the internal and external dimension of the European policymaking. On the internal dimension, this work considers not only the initiatives adopted to prevent and manage a state of crisis, but also the factors related to the regulatory framework and to the network of infrastructures. On the external dimension, this work discusses the peculiar features of the EU action to ensure safe natural gas supplies, which in the past have been far from the traditional features of national foreign policies.