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The EU as a global normative energy actor in its external energy relations with its neighbourhood: a case-study of EU-Russia energy relations

Georgiou, N. A. (2019) The EU as a global normative energy actor in its external energy relations with its neighbourhood: a case-study of EU-Russia energy relations. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

This thesis has focused on the EU’s external legal relations with Russia in the energy sphere as a case study of the normative power framework. The thesis has drawn from Manners ‘Normative Power Europe’ theory, where the central component to the Union’s normative power is that of a value-driven foreign policy actor based on the core norms that form its underlying identity (namely, peace, liberty, democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms) which it seeks to promote in its external relations through multilateral legal frameworks. By using the normative power theoretical framework as a reflective device, the thesis has analysed the Union’s manoeuvres in the energy sphere with respect to its neighbourhood and Russia to establish whether the Union can be said to be a global normative energy actor. The examination has focused on the EU’s approach towards Russia in its energy relations through the normative power lens; which has then been gauged against the EU’s approach towards third countries, in particular the Eastern Neighbourhood. In so doing, the perception of the EU as a normative power driven by values has been benchmarked against other underlying factors underpinning external relations with Russia, such as economic and security interests. In undertaking the analysis, this thesis has endeavoured to make a valuable contribution to existing scholarship regarding the EU’s role as a global actor and the extent to which the Union is a normative power in its external energy relations with its neighbourhood and Russia. For the purpose of this novel contribution, the study has committed to fulfilling the following: (i) it has introduced the normative power framework focusing on Manners’ theory whilst differentiating between different strands and claims of the ‘EU as a Power’ debates thereby undertaking a more nuanced view; (ii) it has linked the normative actor conceptualisations to the field of energy; (iii) it has tested the normative power framework and normative actor claims by analysing the Union’s external relations with its neighbourhood (in particular the Eastern neighbourhood); (iv) it has evaluated the normative power framework and normative actor claims by analysing the Union’s external relations with Russia using the ENP analysis as a benchmark comparator; (v) it has revealed additional dimensions to the Union’s role as a global actor that includes a strategic element to the Union’s usual normative agenda; and (vi) it has provided a more refined understanding and perception of the EU as a global normative energy actor in strategic sectors of the economy where the Union’s security interests are at stake.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Thies, A.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Law
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:88557

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