The relationship between EU climate and energy policies and EU foreign policy and security

O’kane, Philip (2023-01)

The purpose of this study was to examine the evolution of climate change and energy policy within the European Union and to evaluate how effective it has been in terms of changing the policy of member states and also the impact of these EU policies on third countries. This involved an examination of the foreign policy infrastructure of the EU and analysis of the dynamics between EU climate change and energy policy, and the foreign policy and security of the EU. Climate change and energy policy to meet climate targets is an area of EU policy which is constantly evolving and developing, involving, as it does, all aspects of EU foreign policy. The extent and success of the National Energy & Climate Plans (NECPs) of EU member states was therefore studied along with the current foreign policy tools of the EU such as the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the European External Action Service (EEAS) and EU Sustainable Trade Agreements in order evaluate the extent to which EU foreign policy impacts on EU climate and energy policy and vice-versa. Other external variables such as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine (post February 2022) and the current energy crisis in Europe was examined as was independent data on the progress of the EU in meeting their 2030 green energy and climate targets in order to evaluate if the success of climate change and energy policy of the EU is impacted in any way by both the foreign policy and security policy of the EU. The complex dynamics between EU climate and energy policy and EU foreign policy and security was also examined within the context of the ongoing conflict within EU member states between Europeanization and national agenda. The study conclusion outlines the reasons for the complex dynamics between the climate change and energy policies and foreign policy of the EU and makes some recommendations for future areas of research and policy development which could further align these variables within EU policy.