Energy Cooperation and Security In The Eastern Mediterranean and Its Future Impact To Local Political Conflicts and To EU-Integration and Enlargement

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: Booth 45
Oral Presentation
Angelos GIANNAKOPOULOS , Sociology, Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey
Due to recent important developments in the energy field in the Eastern Mediterranean over the last few years this region is becoming the focus of a growing geopolitical tectonic shift affecting all neighbouring countries, especially Turkey, Israel, Cyprus and Greece. Important developments are, however, expected not only in the energy field as such which will put the relationship of these countries to the EU on a new track, anyway. Leaving aside merely economic impacts of energy supplies from this region to the EU in the years to come one should state that what is currently going on in this region should be also seen against the background of local political and ethnical conflicts which will greatly affect the EU-integration and enlargement processes as well as the EU Neighbourhood Policy ahead. Existing and future alliances as well as conflict potentials deriving from the energy strategies of all countries concerned in the Eastern Mediterranean region will surely have an important impact on still unsolved political conflicts in the wider region such as the political problem in the still divided island of Cyprus, on the dispute over the Aegean between Turkey and Greece as well as on the long-lasting conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The proposed paper seeks to analyse what kind of energy strategies in this fragile world region could produce structural inequalities and thus additional conflict lines between states in the region and under which conditions multilateral cooperation could support regional solutions to political and ethnical conflicts thus enhancing economic prosperity in the EU and beyond.