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Developing the European Union's Natural Gas Networks EU Energy Policy, the Trans-European Networks Programme, and Other Considerations

Katharine C. Baragona, International Resources Law: Today's Oil, Gas, and Mining Projects (1997)

We are currently experiencing a proliferation of investment in pipelines and transmission networks from the countries of the former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe and northern Africa to the countries of Europe. One might attribute these developments to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition of these developing economies to a market structure. However, in doing so, one would be only partially correct. To fully comprehend why the phenomenon is happening now, in our career lifetimes, one must understand the development of Europe's energy markets and the European Commission's attempts to establish a European energy policy that supports the development of trans-European networks.

The concept of an Internal Market is at the very heart of the European Union. At its most basic level, the EU's Internal Market is a mechanism designed to enhance the security and competitiveness of its Member States. The priorities identified for the EU energy sector: security of supply; competitiveness of European industry; and environmental protection, mirror the aims and objectives of the Internal Market. The EU's drive to develop an internal market for energy and to realise the priorities of the EU energy sector are powerful forces behind the development of energy markets in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Mediterranean region.

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