Photo: Aspects from the event
In the period January 31 to February 2, 2024, Prof. Ecaterina MAȚOI, Program Director at MEPEI, participated in the event organized by the Turkish Atlantic Council, the “Turkish Atlantic Security Conferences: Black Sea Energy Supply Security Summit”, held in Istanbul, Türkiye. The two-day talks gathered experts, business leaders, academia, and diplomats, from the Eurasian region, with the purpose of exchanging views on the matters related to energy security and mostly, focusing on Türkiye’s impact and various cooperation in the field.
Benefitting from the support of Turkish authorities, the conference consisted of five panels emphasizing the regional energy security challenges, the role of the Black Sea region for the European and global energy security, while bringing forward the role of major state actors, such as the US, China, and Russia. Moreover, the speakers present highlighted either general or particular aspects related to the field of energy security from their own professional experience. However, there was a visible focus on matters related to the strategic Turkish role, as a NATO member, and the implications for the region from the perspective of regional states’ cooperation and energy dependency.
Representing the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye as a keynote speaker during the introductory panel, Deputy Minister Mehmet Kemal Bozay had a balanced approach on the main topic of discussion, underlining that “oil, atrocities in Gaza, global economic developments, inflationary pressures, aging populations, green economy transition and digitalization, and pursuit of new trade routes make it necessary to strengthen regional and global connectivity, energy and food security”. Also, he added that “all states are concentrating on energy and food security priorities in their foreign policies currently”. Finally, Mr. Bozay argued that the Black Sea is an important region in many aspects, especially in terms of security, energy, and connectivity. In his opinion, the conference was a good opportunity to enhance regional and global cooperation to address these pressing issues.
Therefore, as stressed during the event, the strategic role of Türkiye in energy security should not be neglected and, through their intervention, the speakers explored the potential of this Eurasian nation as a linchpin in the balance of energy supply and demand in the Black Sea region and for the entire European Union. As such, the conference managed to be an open platform for fruitful discussion on the potentialities and responsibilities of Türkiye in this vital sector.
About the author:
Prot. Ecaterina MAȚOI is Program Director at MEPEI.