WASHINGTON –– New military and economic threats in Europe, Russia and the Middle East will reinvigorate the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, according to the military alliance’s top official.
Outgoing NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke on July 7 at the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy research institute, in one of his final addresses to American audiences before the 2014 NATO Summit in Wales.
Despite the lack of a cohesive energy policy encompassing all member states, the European Union has several options when it comes to seeking new energy alternatives to counteract Russia’s predatory ‘energy diplomacy’ of the past decade. Diversification of energy sources has sparked intense controversy in the EU, as strict regulations and public opposition have made several promising energy options unviable in a number of member states. While renewable energy technologies satisfy the concerns of European environmentalists, sources such as solar energy simply cannot meet the energy requirements of Europe’s densely populated countries, with current systems providing energy for less than three percent of households, according to a September 2013 press release by the European Commission. Although energy diversification is not universally popular, it has become increasingly clear since the mid-2000s that Europe must address the challenges presented by Russian energy policies and the current inadequacies of alternative energy infrastructures.