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The Failure of European Energy Policy

Surging energy prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine have made it clear that the European Union needs a stronger, more unified, and more coherent common energy strategy. Many years of irresponsible and craven behavior by key players, particularly Germany, made today's crisis only a matter of time.

STOCKHOLM – Skyrocketing energy prices are a disaster for the European economy and its politicians. But given how feckless European energy policies have been, the economic pain they have caused should surprise no one.

European politicians must rethink their approach. The mess in which Europe now finds itself was caused not so much by European Union policy as by the absence of one. The EU needs a stronger, more unified, and far more coherent common energy strategy.

For years, EU energy policy has moved in fits and starts in response to unexpected problems, most of which were caused by Russia. For example, Russia cut off gas deliveries to Europe in the cold January of 2006; but because this disruption lasted for only four days, Europe did not wake up to the longer-term implications.