24 Jul 2015

Energising the TTIP: Political economy of the trade policy rationale

Paolo Natali / Christian Egenhofer / Gergely Molnar

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Despite accounting for a significant share of global trade and the resulting interdependencies from it, energy governance remains largely fragmented and there is no global framework or agreement defining the rules of energy trade. This paper, after presenting the main global and regional energy market developments, discusses the opportunities to ‘energise the TTIP’, i.e. to include a chapter dedicated to trade and cooperation in the sphere of energy. The shale revolution in the US, the ever-rising interconnectedness of energy markets (recently proven by the disappearance of the ‘Asian gas premium’) and the EU’s quest to diversify its energy supplies generally sets favourable conditions to reinforce energy relations between the EU and the US. The question, as is often the case, is whether there is sufficient political will to tighten relations in a strategic sphere with connotations for national security and sovereignty.

Paolo Natali is an originator at Eni Trading & Shipping and a Visiting Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA), Sciences Po, dividing his time between London, Houston and Paris. Christian Egenhofer is Associate Senior Fellow and Head of the Energy and Climate programme at CEPS and Director of the Energy Climate House. Gergely Molnar is a Research Assistant at CEPS Energy and Climate Change unit. This paper is the 9th in a series produced in the context of the “TTIP in the Balance” project, jointly organised by CEPS and the Center for Transatlantic Relations (CTR) in Washington, D.C. It is published simultaneously on the CEPS (www.ceps.eu) and CTR websites (http://transatlantic.sais-jhu.edu).

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