One of the most readily reached conclusions about the European Union is its inability to act in accordance with strategic aims that would help it become a superpower and influence global affairs.
The demotion of the international Nabucco gas pipeline from the list of projects to be financed by a 5 billion-euro EU stimulus plan is an apparent evidence of this mentioned failure. The proposed pipeline was designed to carry Caspian gas to Eastern Europe via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. That would not only reduce the dependence on Russian reserves but also would create a significant link between European consumers and resource countries of the Caspian basin.
The Daily News reported yesterday "the move was apparently made at the request of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who insisted that no public money should be spent on a project in which Berlin has little interest". When it comes to the issue of interests, it is very useful to read the following line of the same report: "On the other hand former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, is the chairman of the Nord Stream Shareholders, a rival pipeline to link Russia and the European Union via the Baltic Sea."
Without going deeper on the teamwork of the current and former German chancellors, let’s think about the possible results of this decision. According to reports, the European Commission will continue its support to Nabucco but under the new name of the "southern gas corridor." The commission has not come close to explaining the details of the revised plan but for many analysts "there’s not much ground to be optimistic over its implementation."
No doubt Russia will continue to dominate the entire European energy market, making its position even stronger. Russians will likely press the EU countries to participate in its South Stream project, its alternative to Nabucco, which would bring Russian gas under the Black Sea and into Italy via Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Croatia. A branch of the South Stream pipeline will run through Serbia and Hungary to Austria, ending at the Baumgarten gas storage facility, the same plant that Nabucco plans to use. As it is seen the demise of the Nabucco is also to the disadvantage of Turkey who was seeking to be the key actor of the project. But its insistence on keeping its hand on the valve was an important factor in the Nabucco delay. At this stage, all relevant countries, including Turkey, should review their positions once again and ponder its next steps to avoid making the same mistake.