CSD’s work during the past year was inextricably linked to the ongoing policy debate over Europe and the West’s response to Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, and the question of how to mitigate its effects on both a European and a global scale.
The Kremlin is undermining Europe’s ability to form a unified response to its aggression by making full use of its most powerful foreign policy weapon – energy. European leaders can no longer turn a blind eye to the region’s excessive dependence on Russian fossil fuels and the Kremlin’s increasingly brazen energy blackmail. CSD expanded its efforts to expose the Kremlin Playbook on energy and the oligarchic networks of state capture, illicit finance, disinformation, and strategic corruption that have enabled Russia’s weaponisation of energy. In 2022, CSD rolled out the Energy and Climate Security Risk Index, a powerful practical tool to align Euro-Atlantic policies and aid the creation of a true European energy union which addresses EU Member States’ main energy and climate vulnerabilities. CSD has engaged policy-makers in Brussels, Berlin, Rome, Sofia, and Southeast Europe, with the goal of better defining national and regional policy priorities that will help loosen Russia’s geoeconomic grip in Europe. Achieving this decoupling will only be possible with the smart acceleration of Europe’s green transition, though; to this end, CSD has already provided data-driven solutions detailing how short-term energy security concerns necessitating traditional energy responses can be aligned with long-term transition priorities. In Bulgaria and Romania, CSD has championed the development and promotion of offshore wind energy, which can have a significant positive effect on energy security.