Webinar "Challenges and Prospects for Europe's Energy Security"

The webinar entitled “Challenges and Prospects for Europe’s Energy Security” organised by the Institute for Eastern Studies Foundation together with partner The Henry Jackson Society took place on 23 June 2021.

During the webinar, the Polish position on the challenges and prospects for energy security in Europe was presented by Janusz Kowalski, MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary Group for Energy Sovereignty, and Robert Winnicki, MP, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Energy, Climate and State Assets. We also had the opportunity to learn about Ukraine’s perspective, which was presented by Ms Svitlana Zalishchuk, a current advisor to the President of Naftogaz and former MP, foreign policy advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine. An additional point of view was provided by the Member of the British House of Commons, Daniel Kawczyński, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland. The entire conversation was moderated by Mr Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of the Biznes Alert portal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The debate began with the subject of the implementation of Nord Stream II, the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Many aspects of the realisation of this project were highlighted. Among other things, attention was drawn to the threat to Ukraine’s energy sovereignty, Russia’s geopolitical actions and possible measures to stop Nord Stream II. The question of a possible suspension of the project was also raised. To quote MP Kowalski: “Until the project is not launched, there are all possibilities to stop this pressure […], while the threat of conflict in Ukraine is real“. MP Winnicki in response suggested that “It is necessary to prepare for the fact that the construction of Nord Stream II will be completed, therefore we in the CEE region will have to think about alternative supplies, the priority will become the timely completion of Baltic Pipe and the military security of Poland, Ukraine must be guaranteed in the first place by the military strength of these countries“.

Ms Zalishchuk drew attention to Russia’s geopolitical plans: ”Since the beginning of the Nord Stream II it was very crystal clear that this project was an element of Kremlin’s geopolitical masterplan […] It should not be really can we block Nord Stream II, the questions is: Do you want to help Russia to continue its disruptive work, aggressive policy in Ukraine, but also in the EU and further.”

The webinar panellists also discussed potential interventions by the European Union and NATO that could halt the construction of Nord Stream II. MEP Kawczyński also pointed out the low level of consciousness of the British people about many aspects related to Nord Stream II and called for spreading awareness about this issue. Another issue discussed, which is linked to the threat caused by Nord Stream II, is the potential entry of Ukraine into NATO.

MEP Kawczyński stated that “We cannot allow any European country to be precluded from joining NATO because of threats and intimidation of Russia.”

However, energy security is not only about Nord Stream, so the webinar covered the topic of the energy transition, mainly in terms of the European Green Deal, and the effects of CJEU’s case law.

At the end of the debate, the approach of the US and the UK towards Central and Eastern Europe was also discussed.

The whole discussion lasted about 45 minutes, but it was full of many threads and interesting information which we will try to deepen during the 30th Economic Forum in Karpacz (7-9 September 2021).

You are kindly invited to watch the recording of the webinar: https://fb.watch/v/UoMyvWwB/.