December 15, 2010
Energy Flower

In the latest Energy and Environment Program issue brief titled "Central Europe and the Geopolitics of Energy," co-authors Franklin D. Kramer, John R. Lyman, and Mihaela C. Carstei explain the need for a coordinated energy security policy for Central Europe.

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Energy security presents quintessential geopolitical challenges. In Central Europe, achieving energy security can be a critical element for a continent seeking to resolve vestigial Cold War complexities with Russia and toward meeting 21st century challenges including balanced economic development, energy diversity and climate change.  Central Europe, utilizing both European Union support and Western European national assistance and enhanced by United States technical assistance, can take five key steps that will go far toward resolving energy security challenges and help to reframe the geopolitics of the continent. those steps are:

  • Create a formal regional cooperation mechanism
  • Transform regional gas markets and infrastructure
  • Develop balanced and cooperative nuclear power generation capacity
  • Increase energy efficiency – the hidden source of energy in the region
  • Explore alternative coal technologies

Such actions can be a transformative set of events not only for energy security but for the continued building of a Europe whole, free and effective.

Central and Eastern Europe Energy Security Series:

In 2010, the Atlantic Council initiated a dialogue of government, industry and non-governmental policy experts to examine current efforts to transform the supply and consumption of energy to create a sustainable energy future for Central Europe that addresses an integrated goal of energy security, environmental responsibility and economic prosperity. this initiative seeks to further the understanding on how to transform the existing regional alliance with realistic and balanced policies that will integrate the energy sector in the
Visegrad 4 countries and expand interconnections with Eastern and Western neighbors, such as Germany.

Key events included a conference on “US - EU Dialogue on Sustainable Energy Security: Ensuring Physical Security of Supply, Environmental Responsibility and Economic Prosperity in Central Europe" co-hosted with the Clingendael International Energy Program at the Netherlands Institute for International Relations and the Prague Securities Studies Institute. 

Franklin D. Kramer is Vice Chairman of the Atlantic Council Board of Directors and is a member of the Atlantic Council Strategic Advisors Group. He served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs during the Clinton Administration. John R. Lyman is the Director of the Energy and Environment Program, with 28 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Mihaela C. Carstei is Associate Director of the Energy and Environment Program.