The Political Struggle of the Nabucco Pipeline Project

Jeppe Just & Christian Duch

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This thesis applies Complex Interdependence and International Society Theory for its analysis. The EU and Russia are comprehensively interdependent because of an extensive trade of natural gas from Russia to Europe. But the mutual dependency has proven to be problematic as Russia mixes its obligations as a supplier with its foreign policy agenda. The norms and values comprising the EU stand in stark contrast to Russia’s, which further stresses the oddness of this partnership and suggests that this is a trade-linkage out of necessity, rather than one of want. Moscow and its state-owned energy giant Gazprom has been deemed by some as an unreliable supplier to the EU due to Russia’s disputes with Ukraine and the subsequent gas cut-offs to Europe in 2006 & 2009. The situation has led the Commission to emphasise the un-built Nabucco Pipeline as its flagship project for the EU. A project strongly supported by an Eastern Europe that is over-dependent on Russian gas. The project however is for the most part met with an indifferent attitude by the larger most influential member states. The Western part of the EU stands in glaring contrast to the Eastern part as the Western EU has diversification firmly included in its energy security portfolio. Russia resurged as an influential international actor because of its hydrocarbon industry and it is rightly worried that EU diversification might change the necessary interdependence status quo. Moscow uses every form of legal, regulatory, political and economic mean to obstruct the Nabucco Project. But the EU itself is the main impediment to its implementation as it is split into two groups: those who believe the project is vital for Europe’s energy security and those who think of it as an expensive, unnecessary solution to a non-existent problem.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato2 okt. 2012
VejledereGorm Rye Olsen


  • Nabucco pipeline
  • South Stream
  • European Union
  • Caspian Sea
  • Energy Security
  • Nord Stream
  • energy policy
  • Natural gas
  • Russia
  • Caucasus