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Accessing oil, gas and minerals in a changing world

28 November 2012, Brussels - Belgium


The EU and other regions of the world face ever growing challenges to secure supplies of energy and mineral raw materials which have the potential to threaten economic stability and competiveness. The origin of these challenges can be traced, in part, from the worldwide surge of economic growth in the first years of this century and to the consequent rise of resource prices.

But other factors are also playing an important role. These include:

  • the changing balance of global economic and political power which threatens to undermine the influence of traditional actors;
  • the return of state capitalism which weakens the effective operation of markets for commodities and investment;
  • rapid technological advances which can cause sudden surges in demand for new raw materials;
  • shifts in the scale of economic rent along commodity value chains.

More than 100 high-level policy-makers, academics and stakeholders participated at the POLINARES conference, co-organised with the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri), that took place in Brussels on 28 November 2012.

The conference sheds light on the main challenges facing the EU and the rest of the world in securing access to oil, gas and minerals to the year 2040, and to recommend policy approaches to address these challenges. In addition to presenting the main findings of the EU POLINARES project, the conference also provided complementary perspectives given by invited speakers from the Commission Bureau of European Policy Advisors (BEPA), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Ifri.