V. Termini: A STRATEGIC VISION FOR GAS: ITALY IN THE EQUILIBRIUM OF THE EAST MEDITERRANEAN REGION
In a climate of general distraction, a historic agreement for the EastMed, a gas pipeline that will connect the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, has finally reached its conclusion. Drawing from Leviathan's offshore gas resources recently discovered north of Israel (about 530 mm), this new pipeline will deliver part of its reserves to the European Union via Cyprus, Greece and Italy. At the beginning of April, the agreement was signed by European Energy Commissioner Miguel Canete, Italian Minister Calenda and the respective Ministers of Israel, Cyprus and Greece, the other countries involved. This distraction was brought on by the disappointing outcome of the G7-energy meeting that marked a consensus of "6 against 1" as the United States informed the other participants that it would be reviewing its position on the roadmap on climate change established in Paris (2015 COP 21).
The EastMed agreement is of extraordinary significance as it re-affirms that the resources of the eastern Mediterranean are at the core of EU economic and political interests at a time of great difficulty and geopolitical tensions; a time in which Europe has failed to secure itself as a protagonist in this area. However, this new deal asserts EU interest in the region while simultaneously avoiding confrontation with Russia as the pipeline presents itself as complementary to existing and planned supplies of Russian gas. It is not therefore a direct action against Russia that could have prevented Italy’s support.