The European Union within Interpolarity:
: EU-Russian Energy Security as a Case Study

  • Marc Van Impe

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economic and Social Studies


The world is growing increasingly complex and is characterised by ever increasing interdependence. This is the argument Grevi holds to assess the evolving structure of the international system in order to accommodate new evolutions in international relations and societies around the world, which he conceptualises as ‘interpolarity’. In order to avoid systemic crises, growing powers will be required to avoid the use of conflictive power and to increasingly rely on cooperative methods, such as multilateral summitry, to create durable solutions. The EURussian energy relations are taken as a case example in this dissertation to assess whether, on the one hand, elements of interpolarity are indeed increasingly becoming apparent in both powers’ bilateral relations. On the other, to assess the prospects of the EU as a power under the interpolar system and whether it would truly be able to contribute. This is done through a review of EU-Russian economic and political energy relations over the past decade. It will become evident that the EU and Russia are existentially interdependent and that both powers have repeatedly reiterated on the need for cooperation. However, this process is often interrupted by short-term economical or political energy power concerns. In the third section I review assertions of the second section and argue that it can indeed be argued that EU-Russian energy relations can present signs of a coming interpolar system. With regard to the EU’s position within that system, much will depend on its ability to further unify its external policy and its ability to develop solid cooperative platforms. In the case of its position as an energy power, considerable progress could follow the successful completion of the EU-Russian 2050
Energy Roadmap and the next Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
Date of Award2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorAlistair Shepherd (Supervisor)

Cite this