Framing energy cooperation- the case of the European Union Association Agreements with Moldova and Georgia

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: Energy crisis and energy disruptions have contributed to the current securitization and politicization of energy within the European Union (EU). Today the energy policy is a part of the EU external relations, at the same time as the EU is regarded as an actor with the power to spread values and norms in the international arena. The EU Eastern Partnership, and the Association Agreements initiated in 2013, emphasizes normative values, consistent with the theory of normative power Europe (NPE) as well as energy provisions including energy security, inspired by the theory of neorealism. The aim of the thesis is to visualize how these two framings are expressed in the framework of the Association Agreements with Moldova and Georgia. Frame analysis; based on social constructivist assumptions, the theory of NPE, the notion of energy security and neorealism are applied to construct two framings which are applied to the material. The thesis demonstrates how the normative framing and the security framing are influential in the energy cooperation, despite giving rise to different definitions and problematizations. It leads to an ambiguous European approach towards third countries and could even lead to reduced political legitimacy for the EU external relations.

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