11 Dec 2014

Energy Union: Can Europe learn from Japan’s joint gas purchasing?

Fabio Genoese / Anna Dimitrova / Christian Egenhofer

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Japan’s two major electricity producing companies reached a preliminary agreement recently to establish a joint venture for the procurement of fossil fuel resources, primarily liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The authors of this commentary ask whether this commercial initiative could serve as an example to Europe of how to increase the negotiating power of individual EU member states. They conclude that a private joint gas procurement company may indeed offer a solution for EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe, instead of yet another source of confrontation. Given the political volatility in the region, it could well be the key to balancing out the need for security of supply with an offer to guarantee security of demand, thereby creating the climate for stable commercial relations.

Fabio Genoese is Research Fellow at CEPS, Anna Dimitrova is a CEPS Research Assistant, and Christian Egenhofer is Senior Fellow, Head of the Energy and Climate programme at CEPS.