Lithuania’s Strategic Use of EU Energy Policy Tools: A Transformation of Gas Market Dynamics

Lithuania is one of Europe’s smallest national gas markets until recently reliant, in common with Latvia and Estonia, on imported Russian pipeline gas for all its natural gas requirements.  After its accession to the EU in 2004, Lithuania became directly impacted by the developing body of energy market regulation, most notably the Third Package of 2009.  While the country could have sought a derogation from the main requirements of the Package, it chose not to and instead embarked upon the difficult task of implementing supply chain unbundling.  The subsequent successful execution of a project to build an LNG import facility completed the country’s quest for gas supply diversification.

This paper by Vija Pakalkaite provides a detailed and comprehensive account and assessment of this process, incorporating material and insights gained from conversations with many of the key players involved.  Its content will be of great interest to those in the fields of regulation and geopolitics, but for more general observers of the natural gas arena it provides, as a case study, a means of appreciating the practical implications of the EU regulatory frameworks at play.

By: Vija Pakalkaitė