Past Event

Euro-Mediterranean energy talks

The energy landscape of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean is inefficient and unsustainable. Yet there is much potential for cooperation. How could the EU work with this region to improve energy systems?

Date: May 31 - Jun 1, 2016 Topic: Energy & Climate

Summary

This event was organised in cooperation with the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).

Energy policies play a key role in the cooperation between the European Union and the countries of the Mediterranean area, being the latter endowed with strategic resources like gas and oil and the former in need of solving the issue of energy security. These policies constitute only a part of neighbourhood policies adopted by the European Union, which have been too much Eurocentric in the past and mainly based on bilateral cooperation rather than regional. Therefore, this calls for a new approach to deal with our neighbours on the Southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, based on understanding the challenges for cooperation, the needs and priorities of countries involved and taking into account the synergies of EU and Mediterranean countries altogether. Obstacles to cooperation are represented by the terrorist threat, the migration pressure and by the number of hidden and open conflicts in the region. However, the workshop organised by Bruegel and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei brought interesting policy recommendations to build a more stable cooperation between the two regions.

From a general point of view, dialogue is needed between the parties for a common understanding of issues: the approaches and priorities of EU and Mediterranean countries are different, and the partnership should not involve the export of an EU model of policy-making to the Southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, pragmatism, rather than ideological approaches, would work better in building the cooperation.

For what concerns the energy cooperation, policy recommendations cover the areas of gas and renewables and are deeply concerned with infrastructure financing. First, the EU decarbonisation goal calls for a reduction in coal usage and an increase in gas demand, a commodity largely available in Western Mediterranean countries; the security of gas supply and the reliance of Europe on a limited number of importers also constitute a relevant issue. The existing transportation infrastructure connecting EU and Mediterranean has to be fully used for these purposes, and more space should be given to SMCs in order to decrease the presence of dominant suppliers, like Russia, in the European market. Eastern Mediterranean countries pose other challenges to gas cooperation. In this case, the infrastructure is still largely missing and countries are not willing to cooperate between themselves because of tensions in the region. However, recent discoveries, like the huge gas deposit in Zohr, close to the Egyptian coasts, can change the geopolitical settings of the region if there is cooperation in building the infrastructure.

Secondly, there is room for collaboration on the renewables side, especially because the two shores of the Mediterranean exhibit complementarities and share the commitment towards decarbonisation. In fact, while some Med countries invested in solar and wind power but need larger flows of investments and exhibit an increasing demand because of population and economic growth, EU has a great endowment of capital and leads the path in terms of energy efficiency. Obstacles for the development of renewables in the Mediterranean region are the regulatory environment and the financing. The EU can export skills and knowledge in Med countries to improve technology capabilities and human capital in the private sector and set commitment devices for firms in order to attract foreign investments. Moreover, long term investment programmes could be a way to affect the regulatory framework of these countries.

Last but not least, the workshop brought a crucial and interdisciplinary recommendation: there is the need of increasing trust and compatibility between countries on the two shores of the Mediterranean Sea, taking into account diversities and peculiarities of each country.

Event notes by Domenico Favoino, Research Assistant

 

Schedule

31 May, 2016

All sessions on 31 May are closed-door workshops

09.00-09.15

Welcome

Sabina Ratti, Executive Director, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Guntram B. Wolff, Director

09.15-10.45

The Mediterranean geopolitical and macroeconomic outlook

Chair: Guntram B. Wolff, Director

Uri Dadush, Non Resident Fellow

Karim El Aynaoui, Managing Director, OCP Policy Center

André Sapir, Senior Fellow

11.00-12.45

Euro-­Mediterranean energy relations: from bilateral to regional?

Chair: Simone Tagliapietra, Research Fellow

Jorge Borrego, Deputy Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean

Hans van Steen, Head of Unit, European Commission DG ENERGY

14.00-15.30

Euro-Mediterranean natural gas cooperation

Chair: Manfred Hafner, Coordinator of Energy Scenarios and Policy Programme, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Ali Aissaoui, Senior Visiting Research Fellow, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

Francesco Giunti, Executive Vice President Portfolio (market and risk strategy), ENI

Ali Hached, Energy Expert and Former Vice-President, SONATRACH

Francis Perrin, Chairman, Stratégies et Politiques Energétiques

Mehmet Öğütçü, Chairman, Bosphorus Energy Club

Further speakers to be confirmed

16.00-18.00

Euro-Mediterranean sustainable energy cooperation

Chair: Georg Zachmann, Senior Fellow

Claudia Brandus, Head of Regulatory Affairs East Europe and Egypt, Enel Green Power

Angelo Ferrante, Secretary-General, Med-TSO

Ezzedine Khalfallah, President, International Energy Consulting

Jun 1, 2016

09.00-10.30

Financing Euro-Mediterranean energy cooperation (Closed-door workshop)

Chair: André Sapir, Senior Fellow

Uri Dadush, Non Resident Fellow

Edoardo Reviglio, Chief Economist, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA

11.00-12.15

Policy recommendations for a new Euro-Mediterranean energy cooperation (Closed-door workshop)

Chair: Mehmet Öğütçü, Chairman, Bosphorus Energy Club

12.15-13.00

Check-in for public session and lunch

13:00-13:10

PUBLIC SESSION: Welcome address and introduction

Sabina Ratti, Executive Director, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Guntram B. Wolff, Director

13:10-13:30

Keynote speech

Stefano Manservisi, Director-General of the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission

13:30-13:50

Presentation of key policy recommendations

Manfred Hafner, Coordinator of Energy Scenarios and Policy Programme, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Georg Zachmann, Senior Fellow

13:50-14:30

Panel discussion

Chair: Simone Tagliapietra, Research Fellow

Houda Allal, General Director, Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie (OME)

Moncef Ben Abdallah, Former Minister for Industry and Energy of Tunisia

Uri Dadush, Non Resident Fellow

Francesco Giunti, Executive Vice President Portfolio (market and risk strategy), ENI

14:30-15:00

Open debate

Speakers

Ali Aissaoui

Senior Visiting Research Fellow, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

Moncef Ben Abdallah

Former Minister for Industry and Energy of Tunisia

Jorge Borrego

Deputy Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean

Claudia Brandus

Head of Regulatory Affairs East Europe and Egypt, Enel Green Power

Uri Dadush

Non Resident Fellow

Karim El Aynaoui

Managing Director, OCP Policy Center

Angelo Ferrante

Secretary-General, Med-TSO

Francesco Giunti

Executive Vice President Portfolio (market and risk strategy), ENI

Ali Hached

Energy Expert and Former Vice-President, SONATRACH

Manfred Hafner

Coordinator of Energy Scenarios and Policy Programme, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Ezzedine Khalfallah

President, International Energy Consulting

Stefano Manservisi

Director-General of the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission

Mehmet Öğütçü

Chairman, Bosphorus Energy Club

Francis Perrin

Chairman, Stratégies et Politiques Energétiques

Sabina Ratti

Executive Director, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Edoardo Reviglio

Chief Economist, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA

André Sapir

Senior Fellow

Simone Tagliapietra

Research Fellow

Hans van Steen

Head of Unit, European Commission DG ENERGY

Guntram B. Wolff

Director

Georg Zachmann

Senior Fellow

Location & Contact

Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels

Bryn Watkins

Bryn Watkins

bryn.watkins@bruegel.org +32 2 227 42 88

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