A Week of Europe

Monday morning, and very soon I’m off from Stockholm in the direction of London. Again.

Now it is primarily energy security that is on the agenda.

After the latest rumblings from Gazprom in Moscow the issue has increased even further in importance on the European political agenda.

What Gazprom is saying is, effectively, that if we are not allowed to develop structures on the European gas markets that will give us monopolizing pricing power, we are not interested, and we’ll sell our gas to the Chinese.

A fairly blunt message.

In London I’m part of a meeting that is part of the policy review undertaken by the new Conservative Party leadership. Today it’s international issues that are in focus, and I have been asked to address the different energy security challenges ahead.

And that I will continue to do at another meeting in London on Tuesday before returning home to Stockholm.

That will however be a brief visit. On Wednesday morning I’m off to Berlin for a two day session of a Strategy Group on the Future of Europe organized by the Bertelsmann Foundation and bringing in, among others, Austrian Chancellor and present EU Presidency Wolfgang Schuessel.

Here, I have been asked to address the different emerging challenges on the periphery of Europe. Of which there are not few.

After spending Thursday evening in Stockholm it’s Brussels that’s on the agenda for Friday and Saturday.

There is the first meeting of what is called The Brussels Forum. It’s meant to be an annual high-level gathering dealing with different trans-Atlantic issues. Senator John McCain is one of the US keynote speakers, and Commission President Barroso another.

Although not on the formal agenda, it’s unavoidable that there will be discussions on Iran as well. It is on Friday that the IAEA will issue its report on Iranian compliance to the UN Security Council.

The Brussels Forum goes on until Sunday, but for other reasons I’ll have to get back to Stockholm on Saturday afternoon.

It will be a week of Europe and European issues.

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