"From Politicisation to Securitisation: Fluidity of the Energy Discourse in Europe"

Roxana Andrei

The discourse of the past two decades around the natural gas and oil exports from the Caspian Sea to the EU has witnessed an increased politicisation, being linked to the protracted conflicts in the Caucasus and around the Black Sea, to the gas transit disputes between Russia and Ukraine and to the more recent tensions between Russia and Turkey. As a consequence, the natural resources and the energy projects in the region have been increasingly placed in a geopolitical, material-power based understanding, as new threats and risk to the energy security of the consumer states.The presentation will emphasise the fluidity of the energy understanding, looking at the way it has been politicised and instrumentalised in the past two decades, with a specific focus on the energy discourse. For this goal, I will explore the various trends in the alteration of the European energy discourse and I look deeper into what lies behind the EU's politicisation of the discourse, by bringing face-to-face the narratives around gas imports from Russia and the evolution of the EU's policy, to find out if they reflect each other's evolution.How did the new dominating discourses, thus emerged, influenced the building of certain oil and natural gas pipelines, in a particular constellation of actors and transport routes? The dynamics may be traced when looking at the instrumentalisation of the natural gas and oil pipelines and at the way the actors participating in the energy projects choose to align along them. Russian-backed oil and natural gas pipelines, existing or virtual ones, are "shadowed" by Western projects, in their declared intention to allow for the diversification of supply sources and routes to the EU.

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