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Energy Transition in Central and Eastern Europe: A Neo-Colonial Perspective


The article examines the neo-colonial inf luence in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries’ energy transitions, relating energy neo-colonialism with power asymmetries. Most CEE countries began to reduce their reliance on Russian energy after the Cold War, elevating energy security to new levels around 2010. Although European Union (EU) norms have helped counteract Russia’s inf luence on energy, they have brought about a neoliberal neo-colonialism. On the one hand, the CEE countries need reliable and affordable energy supplies to maintain their economic growth, which leaves them prone to the Russian inf luence. On the other hand, the EU’s energy rules and regulations, which disregarded the CEE countries’ interests, have resulted in disobedience. The article employs the degrowth concept to examine energy neo-colonialism in the CEE, contending that the concept stands out as a hopeful signpost for realizing the scenario wherein the CEE countries’ interests can be protected and prioritized.


energy transition, energy security, CEE, neocolonialism, degrowth

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Author Biography

Pengfei Hou

Pengfei Hou is Associate Professor in International Relations in the School of Political Science and Public Administration at Xinjiang University, China. His work focuses on CEE countries, energy politics, and EU-China relations.