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Publications

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The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe
There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia’s economic engagement with the region expanded significantly. Regional political movements and figures have increasingly sought to align themselves with the Kremlin and with illiberalism. Central European governments have adopted ambiguous—if not outright pro-Russian—policy stances that have raised questions about their transatlantic orientation and produced tensions within Western institutions. more »
 
CSD Policy Brief No. 62: Energy Security Risks and the Case for Natural Gas Diversification
The Bulgarian energy sector remains of key importance for the development of the country’s economy. On the domestic side, Bulgaria’s energy sector faces severe governance deficiencies at multiple levels that lead to inefficiency and inconsistency of decision-making. Political meddling and conflicts of interest at the highest level of government compromise the strategic approach towards the sector, and often lead to poor management of the state-owned companies. more »
 
CSD Policy Brief No. 58: Transparent Governance for Greater Energy Security in CEE
The interruption of gas supplies to Europe as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian pricing dispute in 2009, the continuing Russian-Ukrainian crisis after the annexation of Crimea, and the EU-Russia controversies regarding the South Stream pipeline project, as well as Gazprom’s non-compliance with the EU regulations in several anti-trust cases in the past few years are the major cornerstones that shape the CEE energy security framework and policy options as the region remains heavily dependent on Russian oil, gas, and nuclear technology. more »
 
Country fact-sheets on national energy security indicators
The country factsheets present a critical review of the energy security governance in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine, and map the main policy challenges faced by these countries in facilitating more transparent and data-driven decision making. more »
 
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 »
 

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