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CSD Policy Brief No. 47: EU and NATO's role in tackling energy security and state capture risks in Europe
The Crimean crisis and the continuing instability in Eastern Ukraine have turned into a rude wake up call for Europe’s energy security vulnerabilities. Since the beginning of the crisis the EU and NATO have scrambled for finding the right measures to a balanced response to Russia’s growing assertiveness, while striving to alleviate the most acute energy security risks for their members. more »
 
Policy Tracker: EU and Russia’s Energy Policy at the Backdrop of the South Stream Pipeline
The present paper aims at tracking the development of the South Stream gas pipeline project from the perspectives of the EU and Russia, and in the context of the common EU external energy policy. The EU-Russia energy dialogue has become increasingly complicated since the two natural gas crises in 2006 and 2009, when the gas supply was cut for about two weeks due to a gas pricing dispute between Russia and Ukraine. more »
 
Bulgaria and the South Stream Pipeline Project: At the Crossroad of Energy Security and State Capture Risks
In 2014 the question of Europe’s energy security made it to the top of the European Union’s policy agenda amidst the continuing crisis in Ukraine. Russia has demonstrated its capacity to exert political influence on the countries in Southeast Europe and the Black Sea regions by leveraging its dominant position on their energy markets. It has successfully pressured the government of Bulgaria to support its flagship project, South Stream, at the expense of the country’s long-term strategy to diversify its natural gas supply. more »
 
Energy Sector Governance and Energy (In)Security in Bulgaria
This report explores the major governance deficiencies in the Bulgarian energy policy regarding the strategic, institutional, and legal framework of the sector. The report focuses on state capture of energy policy by private political and economic interests that led to bad management practices in the sector, to lack of consistency in the legal and regulatory framework, to deteriorating investment environment, and to the involvement of the country in infrastructure projects that undermine the national long-term strategy and policy priorities. more »
 
Policy Tracker: Economic Governance and Performance of the State-owned Energy Sector
Bulgaria’s energy sector is characterized by severe financial weaknesses related to high levels of indebtedness, low profitability and bad governance. The financial outlook of state-owned enterprises has become increasingly problematic in the 2011-2013 period. An overview of the financial health of the largest energy companies reveals a desperate need for liquidity and a reform of the pricing method to abolish destabilizing subsidies, improve debt collection and the energy mix, and invest in the minimization of power distribution losses. more »
 
Policy Tracker: Key Challenges for Energy Efficiency Policies in the Domestic Sector
The Bulgarian economy is by far the most energy intensive in Europe and it is highly dependent on other countries for its energy and therefore the economy - and in turn individual households are vulnerable to price changes. A quarter of energy consumed in Bulgaria is used in the residential sector. Actively reducing the energy consumed by end users will be the fastest and most cost-effective method of making further energy savings, and also has related benefits such as lowered reliance on energy imports and lower fuel bills for consumers and businesses. more »
 
Media note: Energy in(security): the parliament’s decision on the South Stream pipeline increases the risks for Bulgaria’s energy security
The decision of the Bulgarian Parliament from 4 April 2014 to adopt at first reading the amendments in the Energy Law, which grants South Stream special status highlights the lack of logic in the national energy policy and compounds the impression that public interest is not the driving force behind the proposed changes. The decision and the manner, in which it was taken, reveal some of the most serious problems in Bulgaria’s energy policy in terms of bad governance and corruption. more »
 
Media note: Shedding More Light on the New “Simplified” Electricity Bills
The media note discusses new “simplified” electricity bills. The decision to decrease by 5% the retail electricity prices as of 1 August 2013 is among the topics at the heart of political debates in Bulgaria this autumn. A similar move in 2010 clearly showed that such a politically mandated price decrease was not sustainable in the long run. more »
 
CSD Policy Brief No. 40: Bulgaria's Energy Security Risk Index
Energy security is of critical importance to Bulgaria. The biggest identified threat to Bulgarian national security is poverty, and in particular energy poverty. Bulgaria’s non-transparent energy sector seriously undermines the country’s economic development. Establishing regular sound monitoring mechanisms on energy security could be key for adequate policy-making in the area. more »
 
Media Note: Energy Saving Technologies in the Bulgarian Residential Sector
The growing consumer prices of electricity have remained at the center of public debates over the past months, especially following their increase last year by 13%. Even though the regulated market supresses their growth, prices have steadily increased since 2005, both in Bulgaria and in the EU. more »
 

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