Nabucco Swept Away by South Stream: Was the Securitization of the Russian Pipeline Successful?

  • Nikita Odintsov
Keywords: EU, Nabucco, South Stream, energy security, securitization


This article aims to determine if the European Commission was successful in the securitization of the Russian South Stream pipeline. The Commission tried to convince the participating Member States to abandon the South Stream project in favor of the competing Nabucco pipeline. The discursive analysis showed that all the participating countries accepted the security of supplies as a referent object. Nevertheless, they did not accept certain measures advocated by the Commission, i.e. a supranational approach to energy security and amendments of the intergovernmental agreements concluded with Russia. Instead, the participating Member States were using their alternative discourses in order to resist this securitization. The European Commission was able to stop the South Stream project only through a direct, non-discursive intervention against Bulgaria, which, after the start of the infringement procedure, suspended its participation in the project. The other participating countries accepted this intervention, yet they did not support it.

Author Biography

Nikita Odintsov

is an associate researcher at the Institute of International Relations, Prague. His research focuses on energy security in the EU and the former Soviet Union.

Research Articles