Author: John Roberts
Preface by: Dimitrios Triantaphyllou
Energy security has become one of the most pressing issues of our times, along with its close relative cousin, global warming, induced by human activities. As the world demand for energy grows, we come to realize that the planet’s traditional energy resources are not infi nite as they still seemed to be a couple of decades back. With China and India steadily rising in the East, as major energy importers and consumers, we may be witnessing a revival of old-fashioned ‘Mackinderian’ geopolitics on a global scale. In the absence of an internationally agreed framework for relationships among producer, consumer and transit countries, individual nations seem to be locked in fi erce competition for access to, or control of, energy resources, markets and routes involving state actors and private interests alike.
The wider Black Sea region is emerging as an increasingly important player in the global geopolitics of energy. The region is home to two major energy actors, Azerbaijan and more particularly Russia, the foremost energy producer in the world. It is also the main conduit for rich hydrocarbon resources originating in the Caspian basin and the northern portion of the Middle East. As a result, practically all the states of the wider Black Sea area and their representative regional body, the Organisation of the BSEC, have a vital stake in the development of this new energy hub and reap the potential benefi ts that go with it. The EU, the leading energy importer in the world, which recently extended its borders to the shores of the Black Sea, fi nds itself at the centre of an energy debate immediately affecting the BSEC countries. At a time when serious efforts are being made toward enhancing interaction and cooperation between the BSEC and EU institutions, the issue of energy security acquires special signifi cance in both economical and political terms.
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