Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative Director David Koranyi cowrites for Natural Gas Europe on why infrastructure integration is at the heart of the European project:

The progress made in unifying Europe has been one of the greatest successes of this century. The task at hand, however, is far from complete. Political and regulatory integration, fostered by EU membership, has yet to be fully complemented by infrastructural integration, both within Central Europe and of Central Europe into the broader European and transatlantic market space.

Despite significant progress in the last decade, Central European countries are still burdened by insufficient integration and unsatisfactory infrastructural connectivity with Western Europe, as well as weak North-South links. This is a legacy of the Cold War era, when intraregional infrastructural integration was actively prevented in order to maintain high levels of political and economic dependency on the Soviet Union. The detrimental consequences of this lack of integration are most evident in the energy sector. Central Europe remains a set of inadequately connected national energy markets, isolated from the Western community, and exposed to supply monopolies. Insufficiently diversified energy markets and monopoly pricing constitute a supply-security risk and lead to higher prices.

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