Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Being rich in energy resources – a blessing or a curse

Schubert, Samuel R. (2007): Being rich in energy resources – a blessing or a curse. Published in: EP Policy Department Studies , Vol. 614, No. 386 (31 January 2007): pp. 1-60.

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“Being rich in energy resources – a blessing or a curse” finds that an energy resource curse plagues many EU supplier states. This in turn directly affects Europe’s energy supply security and threatens to engulf Europe in unwanted hostilities at home and abroad. The study addresses seven issues including the evidence suggesting that a curse exists among Europe’s external energy suppliers, active programs to limit that risk, the significance of economic diversification, the applicability of dividend programs, the link between corruption and security of energy supplies, additional possible actions of the Union, and further threats posed by resource cursed countries. It establishes a definitive links between corruption and supply security, poor transparency, and inequality, and proves that a low level of economic diversification is a reliable indicator for the existence of the curse. It also finds that there are examples of excellence in recovering from and even converting the curse to a blessing. In looking at the policy instruments available to the Union, the study determines that the Union does have the technical expertise and financial means to restructure political and economic systems and strengthen public administrations and institutions and found that Europe’s successful implementation of similar past programs could be taken, at least in part, as models for future efforts. Finally, the study recommends the controversial approach of conditionality in the use of aid and finds that the Union should legislate standards for the reporting and auditing of energy exports and imports at home and abroad.

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