By Amanda Paul and Ilgar Gurbanov
Security of gas supply is a priority for the European Union (EU) because it is critical to ensure that (1) supplies are not disrupted; (2) market can be competitive and (3) the EU cannot be blackmailed in foreign and security policy questions. Due to energy security concerns related to Russia’s tendency to use gas as a political tool and the need to improve gas pipeline infrastructure to help stranded European markets access new gas exports, the EU is increasingly committed to finding alternative routes/sources for natural gas. The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is one such initiative which opens a new and competitive route for Europe to import natural gas from the Caspian that Russia’s Gazprom does not control. However, while significant progress has been made (confirmation of the route in 2013 and groundbreaking for construction in Turkey and Greece in 2016), challenges remain, including local opposition along parts of the route and the emergence of Turkish Stream.