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State Competition for Regional Energy Hub Status in the Mediterranean

Identifying the Criteria for the Establishment of an Efficient Regional Energy Hub

In this article of the REMENA policy paper series, Michalis Mathioulakis establishes a framework for assessing countries’ potential to become regional energy hubs in the Mediterranean for the European Union.

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In the wake of the 2021-2022 energy crisis, Europe grappled with newfound vulnerabilities in energy security, prompting a renewed focus on diversification policies. As the Von der Leyen Commission's mandate draws to a close in 2024, energy security has thus swiftly ascended to the forefront of the European Union's agenda. The revival of the Juncker Commission's "Energy Union" policies has spurred a flurry of activity in the Mediterranean region, with state actors vying to position themselves as pivotal energy hubs. However, amidst this competition lies a complex power play, where strategic interests intersect with the quest for energy dominance.
At the heart of this competition lies the concept of "Regional Energy Hubs" (REHs), where control over energy flows translates into political power. The securitisation of energy has elevated energy to a critical national security issue, with countries using their energy leverage for political gain. From Russia's historic weaponisation of energy to regional transit disputes threatening pipeline projects, the stakes are high in the race for energy hub status. But what truly defines a regional energy hub?
To answer this question, the paper at hand develops a Framework for Regional Energy Hub Status (FREHS), a comprehensive set of criteria that goes beyond mere infrastructure to evaluate a country's potential as an energy hub. From energy volumes and market and trading conditions to energy infrastructure, regulatory and institutional conditions, as well as the alignment of strategic interests, FREHS offers a holistic approach to assessing potential energy hub status. Against this backdrop, Michalis Mathioulakis also provides a preliminary assessment of Mediterranean energy hub contenders, namely Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Italy and Spain against the FREHS criteria.

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persona di contatto

Veronika Ertl

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Leiterin des Regionalprogramms Energiesicherheit und Klimawandel Naher Osten und Nordafrika +212 537 6704 13-10
persona di contatto

Dr. Yassine Zegzouti

Portrait Yassine Zegzouti

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter +212 537 6704 13/14


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Dr. Kristin Wesemann


Leiterin Strategie und Planung +49 30 26996-3803

Sophie Steybe

Referentin Publikationen +49 30 26996-3726