1. bookVolume 4 (2014): Issue 2 (October 2014)
Journal Details
First Published
18 Jun 2013
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
access type Open Access

The Eastern Partnership and the EU-Turkey Energy Relations

Published Online: 05 Nov 2014
Volume & Issue: Volume 4 (2014) - Issue 2 (October 2014)
Page range: 50 - 68
Journal Details
First Published
18 Jun 2013
Publication timeframe
2 times per year

This article discusses the prospects and challenges of energy cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Turkey within the context of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Part of the EaP agenda is to advance energy cooperation between the EU and the partner states, particularly regarding the diversification of import routes. As an energy corridor between the EU and the hydrocarbon-rich Caspian states, Turkey is a strategic asset for European energy security. Turkey also has economic ties and political capital in the Caspian region that can help the EU reach out to its eastern partners. Despite robust incentives for cooperation, however, the EU-Turkey energy partnership has so far failed to meet mutual expectations. This article argues that this is primarily due to the inability of the two actors to credibly commit to regional energy cooperation. Commitment problem stems from two factors. First, the predominance of national energy interests over communal ones undermines credible commitment. The variation in energy needs of Member States prevents the EU from acting in unison in external energy policy. Similarly, Turkey also prioritizes its own energy security, particularly in its relations with suppliers, which undermines cooperation with the EU. Second, the EU and Turkey hold divergent perspectives on the potential political payoffs of energy cooperation. Turkish decision makers are convinced that energy cooperation warrants palpable progress in Turkey’s accession while most EU actors appear hesitant to establish a direct connection between energy and accession.


Antreasyan, A. (2013), ‘Gas Finds in the Eastern Mediterranean: Gaza, Israel, and Other Conflicts,’ Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 29-47.10.1525/jps.2013.42.3.29Search in Google Scholar

Baran, Z. (2008), Security Aspects of the South Stream Project, Washington, D.C.: Center for Eurasian Policy, Hudson Institute. Retrieved from http://spp.hudson.org/files/publications/Baran-South%20Stream%20for%20EP.pdf [accessed 25 Feb 2013] Search in Google Scholar

Barroso, J. M. D. (2009), Statement of President Barroso following the Southern Corridor Summit, SPEECH/09/230, European Commission, 8 May 2009. Retrieved from http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-09-230_en.htm?locale=en [accessed 15 May 2014] Search in Google Scholar

BBC News (2014), “Norway’s Statoil in Russian deal,” 18 August 2014. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28843794 [accessed 1 Sep 2014]Search in Google Scholar

Belkin, P.; Nichol, J. & Woehrel, S. (2012), “Europe’s Energy Security: Options and Challenges to Natural Gas Supply Diversification.” Retrieved from https://opencrs.com/document/R42405/2012-03-13/download/1005/ [accessed 12Search in Google Scholar

Nov 2012] Search in Google Scholar

Bildt, C. & D’Alema, M. (2007), “It’s Time for a Fresh Effort,” The New York Times, 31 August 2007. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/31/opinion/31iht-edbildt.4.7335844.html [accessed 11 Feb 2013] Search in Google Scholar

Bilgin, M. (2010), “Turkey’s energy strategy: What difference does it make to become an energy transit corridor, hub or center?” UNISCI Discussion Papers, no. 23, pp. 113-128.Search in Google Scholar

BOTAS (2011), BOTAS Stratejik Plan, 2010-2014 [BOTAS Strategic Plan, 2010-2014], Ankara, Turkey. Retrieved from http://www.botas.gov.tr/icerik/docs/StratejikPlanTR.pdf [accessed 14 Feb 2013] Search in Google Scholar

BP (2012), BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2012. Retrieved from http://www.bp.com/statisticalreview [accessed 16 Jun 2014] Search in Google Scholar

Daily Sabah (2014), “It’s time for the EU to open the energy chapter with Turkey,” dailysabah.com, 27 August 2014. Retrieved from http://www.dailysabah.com/opinion/2014/08/27/its-time-for-the-eu-to-open-the-energy-chapter-with-turkey [accessed 1 Sep 2014] Search in Google Scholar

Davutoğlu, A. (2008), “Turkey’s Foreign Policy Vision: An Assessment of 2007,” Insight Turkey, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 77-96.Search in Google Scholar

Demiryol, T. (2013), ‘The Geopolitics of Energy Cooperation between Turkey and the European Union,’ L’Europe en Formation, vol. 367, no. 1, pp. 109-134. http://dx.doi.org/10.3917/eufor.367.010910.3917/eufor.367.0109Search in Google Scholar

Directorate of Natural Gas Markets (2012), Dogalgaz Piyasasi 2011 Yili Sektor Raporu [2011 Natural Gas Sectoral Report], Ankara: Turkish Republic Energy Markets Regulatory Authority. Retrieved from http://www.epdk.gov.tr/documents/dogalgaz/rapor_yayin/Dpd_Rapor_Yayin_Sektor_Raporu_2011_YML4K810nps7.pdf [accessed 27 Dec 2013] Search in Google Scholar

EIA (2013), Iraq Country Analysis Brief. Retrieved from http://www.eia.gov/countries/analysisbriefs/Iraq/iraq.pdf [accessed 9 Mar 2014] Search in Google Scholar

Eissler, E. R. & Arasıl, G. (2014), ‘Maritime Boundary Delimitation in the Eastern Mediterranean,’ The RUSI Journal, vol. 159, no. 2, pp. 74-80.10.1080/03071847.2014.912809Search in Google Scholar

Emerson, M. (2013), ‘Fishing for Gas in Cypriot Waters,’ Insight Turkey, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 165-181.Search in Google Scholar

EU at the UN (2009), Declaration: Prague Summit - Southern Corridor, European Union Delegation at the United Nations, 8 May 2009. Retrieved from http://www.eu-un.europa.eu/articles/en/article_8715_en.htm [accessed 15 May 2014] Search in Google Scholar

Eurogas (2013), Long-Term Outlook for Gas to 2035. Retrieved from http://www.eurogas.org/uploads/media/Eurogas_Brochure_Long-Term_Outlook_for_gas_to_2035.pdf [accessed 24 Jun 2014] Search in Google Scholar

European Commission (2006), Green Paper: A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy, COM(2006) 105 final: European Commission Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, 8 March 2006. Search in Google Scholar

-- (2008), European Energy and Transport, Trends to 2030 - Update 2007: European Commission Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, 8 April 2008. Search in Google Scholar

-- (2011), Energy 2020 - A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy, COM(2010) 639: European Commission Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, 10 November 2010. Search in Google Scholar

-- (2012), ‘Positive Agenda a Bridge Towards Accession Negotiations with Turkey,’ 26 June 2012. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/fule/headlines/news/2012/05/20120518_en.htm [accessed 28 Aug 2014] Search in Google Scholar

-- (2014a), European Energy Security Strategy, COM (2014) 330: European Commission Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, 28 May 2014. Search in Google Scholar

-- (2014b), In-depth Study of European Energy Security, SWD (2014) 330: European Commission Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, 2 June 2014.Search in Google Scholar

European Union (2009), Joint Declaration of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit, 8435/09 Presse 78, Council of the European Union, 7 May 2009. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/neighbourhood/eastern_partnership/documents/prague_summit_declaration_en.pdf [accessed 15 May 2014] Search in Google Scholar

Eurostat (2014), Energy Statistics. Retrieved from http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database [accessed 1 Jul 2014] Search in Google Scholar

Fitch Ratings (2014), Living Without Russian Gas Part 2: Replacing Russian Supplies in the Long Term. Retrieved from www.fitchratings.com [accessed 28 Aug 2014] Search in Google Scholar

Forbes (2014), ‘Secure Iranian Gas For Europe,’ 7 May 2014. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2014/05/07/secure-iranian-gas-foreurope/ [accessed 22 Aug 2014] Search in Google Scholar

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2014), ‘Foreign Secretary William Hague announces intention to re-open the British Embassy in Tehran,’ Statement on UK/Iran Relations, 17 June 2014. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/statementon-ukiran-relations [accessed 22 Aug 2014] Search in Google Scholar

Gereben, Á. (2013), “Russia’s Energy Weapon,” Hungarian Review, no. 1, pp. 33-40.Search in Google Scholar

Haberler (2009), “Enerji Bakani Taner Yildiz: ‘Nabucco ile AB’yi Coktan Hak Ettik’” [Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz: ‘With Nabucco, We Already Deserve (to be a member of) EU’], 22 August 2009. Retrieved from http://www.haberler.com/enerji-bakani-taner-yildiz-nabucco-ile-ab-yi-haberi/ [accessed 16 Dec 2012] Search in Google Scholar

Hurriyet (2009), ‘Turkey says to review Nabucco project if energy chapter blocked,’ 19 January 2009. Retrieved from http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/finance/10808645.asp [accessed 5 Mar 2014] Search in Google Scholar

IEA (2008), Perspectives on Caspian Oil and Gas Development, Paris: International Energy Agency, pp. 1-69.Search in Google Scholar

Iseri, E. & Andrikopoulos, P. (2013), “Energy Geopolitics of the Eastern Mediterranean: Will Aphrodite’s Lure Fuel Peace in Cyprus?” Ortadogu Analiz, vol. 5, no. 51, pp. 37-46.Search in Google Scholar

Kardaş, Ş. (2012), ‘Turkey-Russia Energy Relations: The Limits of Forging Cooperation through Economic Interdependence,’ International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 81-100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00207020120670010710.1177/002070201206700107Search in Google Scholar

Khadduri, W. (2012), ‘East Mediterranean Gas: Opportunities and Challenges,’ Mediterranean Politics, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 111-117.10.1080/13629395.2012.655049Search in Google Scholar

Kim, Y. & Blank, S. (2012), ‘Russo-Turkish Divergence (Part II); The Energy Dimension,’ The Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, vol. 16. Retrieved from http://www.gloria-center.org/2012/11/russo-turkishdivergence-part-ii-the-energy-dimension-2/ [accessed 5 Mar 2013] Search in Google Scholar

Koranyi, D. & Sartori, N. (2014), ‘EU-Turkey Energy Relations in the Context of EU Accession Negotiations: Focus on Natural Gas,’ in Global Turkey in Europe II: Energy, Migration, Civil Society and Citizenship Issues in Turkey-EU Relations, Roma: Edizioni Nuova Cultura, pp. 23-41.Search in Google Scholar

Müftüler-Baç, M. & Başkan, D. (2011), ‘The Future of Energy Security for Europe: Turkey’s Role as an Energy Corridor,’ Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 361-378. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2010.48117610.1080/00263206.2010.481176Search in Google Scholar

Pointvogl, A. (2009), ‘Perceptions, realities, concession-What is driving the integration of European energy policies?’ Energy Policy, vol. 37, no. 12, pp. 5704-5716.10.1016/j.enpol.2009.08.035Search in Google Scholar

Roberts, J. (2003), ‘The Turkish gate: Energy transit and security issues,’ Turkey in Europe Monitor, p. 98.Search in Google Scholar

Sidar, C. & Winrow, G. (2011), ‘Turkey and South Stream: Turco-Russian Rapprochement and the Future of the Southern Corridor,’ Turkish Policy Quarterly, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 51-61.Search in Google Scholar

Stegen, K. (2011), “Deconstructing the ‘Energy Weapon’: Russia’s Threat to Europe as Case Study,” Energy Policy, vol. 39, no. 10, pp. 6505-6513. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2011.07.05110.1016/j.enpol.2011.07.051Search in Google Scholar

Tekin, A. & Williams, P. A. (2011), Geo-politics of the Euro-Asia Energy Nexus: the European Union, Russia and Turkey, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.10.1057/9780230294943Search in Google Scholar

The Bosnia Times (2014), ‘Iran to provide Europe with alternative to Russian gas,’ 13 August 2014. Retrieved from http://www.thebosniatimes.com/en/iran-provideeurope-alternative-russian-gas/ [accessed 20 Aug 2014] Search in Google Scholar

The Guardian (2014), “BP’s risky Rosneft relationship: ‘We work in countries with ups and downs’,” The Guardian, 31 July 2014. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jul/31/bp-risky-rosneft-russia-relationship-workin-countries-ups-and-downs [accessed 1 Sep 2014] Search in Google Scholar

The Telegraph (2014), ‘Iran offers Europe gas amid Russian energy embargo fears,’ 4 May 2014. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10808037/Iran-offers-Europe-gas-amid-Russian-energy-embargo-fears.html [accessed 22 Aug 2014] Search in Google Scholar

Vucheva, E. (2009), ‘Turkey May Rethink Nabucco if EU Talks Stall,’ EUobserver, 19 January 2009. Retrieved from http://euobserver.com/enlargement/2743 [accessed 4 Jun 2012] Search in Google Scholar

Waltz, K. N. (1970), ‘The Myth of National Interdependence,’ in The International Corporation, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Search in Google Scholar

Winrow, G. (2013), “The Southern Gas Corridor and Turkey’s Role as an Energy Transit State and Energy Hub,” Insight Turkey, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 145-163.Search in Google Scholar

Yazar, Y. & Erkaya, H. H. (2007), “Whither Turkey’s Energy Policy?” Insight Turkey, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 7-22.Search in Google Scholar

Youngs, R. (2011), Energy Security: Europe’s New Foreign Policy Challenge, New York: Routledge. Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo