Recently becoming a fashionable term, Energy Security represents one of the most important issues that the international community has to address successfully in the 21st century. The end of the Cold War has led to an abrupt geopolitical reshape of the Eurasian continent; the entire energy sufficiency balance was decisively disturbed and changed, while in response, all newly emerged, and traditional powers have begun pursuing an overt diplomatic, economic and at times armed struggle in order to reposition themselves favorably.
During the last twenty years, the entire Eurasian continent became an enormous “chessboard” where primary and secondary powers, indigenous or not, have created such a complex and delicate equilibrium that has led many to term it the “New Great Game”. A reminiscent of the diplomatic initiatives, antagonisms and armed conflicts between the British and the Russian empires during the 19th century in central Asia, the term is well suited to describe today’s situation.
Nevertheless, the current state of affairs is far more complicated as more players are involved, and the global need for energy is increasing exponentially. Moreover, despite the popular urge for the adoption of comprehensive “green energy” solutions, reality dictates that for the foreseeable future fossil fuels and most importantly natural gas will continue to dominate the international energy market.
Within this context, the Balkans and adjoining states play an important role in the delivery of oil and gas to the developed, but energy-starved nations of Western Europe. A glance to the existing and planned pipe projects originating from the East (or the South) and leading into the heart of Europe suffices to support the aforementioned and convince even the skeptical observer that this region presents one of the main stages of the “New Great Game”.
In response to this challenge, the Energy Security Unit of the ISDA has been formed by seasoned professionals of the energy industry, experts from the fields of international relations and risk management in order to offer a credible source of region-specific information and analysis for the Energy Sector.
The Unit’s research focuses on issues of market intelligence, situational and trend analysis; results are complemented with risk analysis forecasts and are released in regular conferences organized in Greece and abroad, through partnerships with other international institutes and research organizations.