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EU-Turkey Energy Dialogue

The successful creation of a European energy union will not be possible without the active involvement of Turkey. The latter is going to play a vital role as the major transit country of future alternative natural gas supply from the Caspian region and the Middle East. Similarly, Turkey will benefit from the development of the Energy Union because it can transform itself in a major energy-trading hub, Turkey’s long-term energy policy objective. However, the difficulties of advancing the Southern Gas Corridor projects revealed differences in strategic intentions between Turkey and the EU. The EU and Turkey need to reinvigorate their common energy dialogue and the civil society and expert community has a major role to play in advancing this objective. Turkish and EU-bases CSOs can be a powerful mediator between policy-makers in the EU and Turkey by raising awareness of the benefits of improving energy security, diversifying electricity and gas, and integrating energy markets. They could also serve to monitor energy governance deficits revealing bad management practices in the energy state-owned enterprises and the development of a strategic energy policy. By strengthening their role in the energy decision-making, CSOs will receive a tribune to voice their concerns about Turkey’s energy policy.

Through our activities, CSD and its partners, the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) and the Mediterranean Energy Observatory (OME) aim to strengthen the energy dialogue between the EU and Turkey by organizing a series of on-site visits and analyses, capacity-building workshops, and international policy roundtables. The goal of the events is to raise the capacity of Turkish civil society organisations to monitor and understand better complex energy issues with regard to EU energy rules in order to influence the energy policy-making in Turkey. The workshops will gather key energy policy-makers from the EU and Turkey, energy-related CSOs and Turkish and European energy experts to discuss future energy security initiatives and exchange ideas about how to tackle energy governance and security risks in Turkey and the Black Sea region. This will foster cross-border ties between energy security stakeholders in the Region.


Tackling Energy Security and Governance Risks in Turkey in the Framework of a European Energy Union

Although the EU-Turkey relations are going through difficult times, the two partners should rather focus on their common challenges and opportunities, such as the security of energy supply and the harmonization of energy legislation to enable efficient gas and power flows from East to West, supporting the establishment of the European Energy Union and the energy hub position of Turkey. These were some of the key conclusions of the participants in the international conference on Tackling Energy Security and Governance Risks in Turkey in the Framework of a European Energy Union, the closing event of a 15-month study of the main areas of EU-Turkey energy cooperation and the Turkish energy security profile.

Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in the Energy Sector

Good governance in the energy sector is crucial for the success of the EU-Turkey energy dialogue because the collaboration between states is often difficult to achieve amid divergent energy policy paths. This was one of the main conclusions from the third workshop of the EU-TR Dialogue for Energy in the Black Sea Region project, which was organized in Ankara by the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), the Sofia-based Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), the Mediterranean Energy Observatory (OME) and the Turkish Oil and Gas Association (PETFORM).

Energy Market Liberalization and Regional Market Integration

Competition in the energy sector needs to be reinvigorated if an efficient energy hub is to emerge in Turkey. This was one of the conclusions of the workshop on Energy Market Liberalization and Regional Market Integration, organized in Istanbul on October 10th, 2016 on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress (WEC).

Ensuring Effective Cooperation between EU and Turkey in Fostering Security of Energy Supply

The EU-Turkey energy dialogue must be understood as a two-way street, in which the energy positions of the two parties come closer through taking into account each other interests. The integration of Turkey and its energy policy in the EU Energy Union should be based on a long term vision related to Europe’s diversification of natural gas supply, the expansion of the internal energy market, and the decarbonisation of the energy sector. Turkey will play an increasingly critical role in helping the EU in completing the energy security pillar in the Energy Union initiative. Turkey, on the other hand, will benefit from closer integration in the EU energy policy agenda both from the point of view of expanded energy trading with the EU and of improved regulatory framework fostering market liberalization and economic competitiveness.


Policy Report: Towards a Stronger EU-Turkey Energy Dialogue: Energy Security Perspectives and Risks

Full text (Adobe PDF, 2.04 MB)

The publication aims to draw an overall picture of the state of the EU-Turkey energy dialogue through the prism of civil society understanding of EU and Turkey’s energy security risks and perspectives, and the role of the Energy Union in helping to overcome them. The report builds upon a background policy brief to develop an in-depth overview of the Turkish energy sector that also incorporates the statements, opinions and recommendations provided by EU and Turkish policy-makers, energy experts and business representatives during a series of capacity-building workshops and study visits in Brussels and Ankara. Additional meetings with European and Turkish energy business associations, as well as influential energy watchers have enriched the final analysis.

Policy Brief July, 2016: Ensuring Effective Cooperation Between EU and Turkey to Foster Energy Security

Full text (Adobe PDF, 831 KB)

As Turkey is a strategic bridge for new energy sources, it will play an increasingly critical role in helping the EU in completing the energy security pillar in the Energy Union initiative. However, Turkey’s energy sector transformation towards becoming part of the planned European internal energy market is happening only very slowly. Given that the inevitable changes will have an effect on both industries and individual consumers, politicians have been reluctant to sign on the dotted line and initiate the final stages of liberalization. Despite EU’s activism for developing universal rules for Europe for liberalisation and security in gas and electricity, Turkey and the countries in the Black Sea region still pursue mostly a bilateral approach to energy security, which is insufficient for the development of a strategic regional energy security partnership between EU and Turkey.

This website is produced with financial support of the EU and Republic of Turkey. The Center for the Study of Democracy is responsible for the content of this website and it can in no way be interpreted as the opinion of the EU and/or Republic of Turkey.

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