EU energy policy - official documents on natural gas market
The data consists of a sample of EU official documents on EU policies and measures for the natural gas sector in the last 30 years. These are directives, regulations, proposals of laws, complemented with decisions taken on specific issues and press releases and communications on opinions expressed by EU institutions. These sources make it possible to provide documentary evidence on (i) the interplay between the EU and Member States in energy policy and on jurisdiction overlaps; (ii) the EU focus on domestic market competition as compared to energy security of the imported supplies. The dataset supports one of the preliminary hypotheses that the EU policy paradigm and policy narratives for decades have been dominated by the goal of market competition in the sphere of the EU domestic market, while only recently and particularly during the energy crisis energy security started to receive more attention. This hypothesis is supported also by recent measures addressing energy security and the energy crisis, which show how these are tackled with perspectives and policy tools anchored to the domestic dimension of the EU market, while little or no space is left for strategies of energy diplomacy that consider the bigger picture of a fast-changing global energy market. Data is collected by following the Relevance Sampling method (Krippendorff, 2004), which is not a probabilistic method but one whose main sampling criterion concerns the relevance of data for the research question. In this paper, the selection of EU official documents was conducted by consulting EUR-Lex, the EU official database containing all EU laws and official documents. The research was done by using the following keywords: “natural gas”, “energy infrastructure”, “energy market competition”, “energy security”. The selected sample is composed of 20 documents, in a population of around 120 documents resulting from the searches. The main criterion for the selection was the relevance of the content of each document for the core topics of the paper, namely competition policies, energy security and prices, and infrastructure. Several documents were discarded because they address aspects that are not relevant for the research question. The database is innovative because it classifies EU official documents based on two main criteria: namely, whether the policy targets (i) the domestic or the import market; (ii) market competition or energy security. The database also provides a brief summary of each policy/measure to enrich the scope of the data collected and add important details that in some cases signal important evolutions in EU energy policy and trends (for example the latest responses to the energy crisis).