Economic & Resource Security Series

Energy Security Roundtable in Munich (2019)

Participants at the Energy Security Roundtable at the MSC 2019 (Photo: MSC / Müller)

On February 15, on the sidelines of its annual main conference, the MSC hosted a Roundtable on Energy Security, co-hosted with the ONS Foundation, the event gathered more than 30 participants from politics, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and academia to discuss solutions to the tensions surrounding the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Participants acknowledged that in the coming decades gas imports would continue to play a significant role in Europe’s efforts to meet its energy needs. In this context, participants discussed the mounting criticism that has recently forced European governments with a stake in Nord Stream 2 to reassess the pipeline project in a wider geopolitical context. Some participants highlighted the need to embed the project in a wider strategic consensus, which adequately balances the project’s economic benefits with its political costs.

About the Economic & Resource Security Series

In an increasingly interdependent world, state and non-state actors rely on stable flows of resources and a resilient global economy. Accordingly, competition and cooperation over the use of these resources as well as the provision of distribution networks and infrastructure constitute decisive security factors. Today, the demands of a growing world population make the sustainable and economical use of these resources an imperative security challenge for policy-makers around the world. Some regions, such as Central Asia or the Arctic, may well turn into a new hot spot of energy security and thus pose new geostrategic challenges. The MSC contributes to these debates regarding economic and resource security through a series of events aimed at selected decision-makers at the highest levels of government, academia, militaries, the private sector and civil society.

Summits, roundtables and other activities

As part of the Economic & Resource Security Series, the MSC organizes numerous events, which vary in size.

MSC Summits address an audience of up to 150 high-profile representatives from government, academia, the military, the private sector and civil society, while also retaining the MSC's trademark atmosphere of open exchange and frank debates in an exclusive setting. These summits aim to bring together political and economic leaders to develop strategies to address challenges at the intersection of security, prosperity, and natural resources.

MSC Roundtables are intimate, off-the-record gatherings of no more than 40 participants taking place throughout the year at the sidelines of high-level international events around the world. The topics of discussion are tailored to reflect current debates and challenges in economic and resource security, attracting high-ranking representatives from government, academia, the military, the private sector and civil society.

In addition to the events specifically dedicated to the topic, economic and resource security issues generally play an important role in MSC activities. During the annual flagship conference in Munich, these topics have regularly taken center stage at panel discussions as well as in a growing number of side events. Further, the MSC regularly includes chapters on economic and resource security issues in its annual Munich Security Report.

Past Events

ONS Summit in Stavanger (August 2018)

Staggering developments in energy security: On the one hand, the competing trends of decarbonisation and the renaissance of hydrocarbon fuels are changing the global energy market and inject a new degree of uncertainty. On the other hand, "great power competition" is returning to international politics and constitutes a potential source of insecurity.

To discuss the most recent challenges, the Munich Security Conference and the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) Foundation convened their second joint "ONS Summit" from August 26 to 27 in Stavanger. The summit gathered over 60 high-level representatives from governments, international organisations, militaries, academia and the energy sector. Among the many senior decision-makers participating were the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes, the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs, the Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water Cesar Abi Khalil, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol, as well as several CEOs of major international energy companies.

For a summary of the Summit's key points, read our brief report here. A selection of photos from the event is featured in our media library.

Roundtable on Energy Security in Munich (2018)

On the sidelines of the main conference 2018, the MSC organized a Roundtable on Energy Security, titled "Lifelines and Pipe Dreams – The Geopolitics of Energy Transmission." Co-hosted with the ONS Foundation, this event brought together selected participants from non-governmental organizations, governments, private companies, international organizations as well as the military to discuss the use of energy resources as well as their means of transmission as a tool of political statecraft.

During the roundtable, participants argued whether energy – resources as well as energy transmission and distribution systems – was increasingly being "weaponized" as a tool of political influence and pressure. Accordingly, the discussion subsequently focused on potential strategies to reduce harmful dependencies between supplier and buyer countries. Regarding Europe, the participants debated whether and how the EU should enhance its ability to conduct effective energy diplomacy.

ONS Summit in Stavanger (2016)

As part of the MSC Energy Security Series, the MSC and the Norwegian ONS Foundation organized the "ONS Summit" in Stavanger on 28 and 29 August 2016.

About 60 key leaders from the energy industry, politics and the security community gathered to discuss global energy trends, their geopolitical and industrial implications, and the challenges they pose to companies and states.

Among the meeting's participants were the CEOs of major industry leaders, such as Statoil, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Eon and Wintershall as well as senior representatives from Saudi Aramco, eni, and Iran's National Oil Company.

Participants also included cabinet ministers from around the world. The Norwegian government was represented by Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Minister for Foreign Affairs Børge Brende, and Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien. Daniel Yergin, one of the world's leading energy experts, moderated the event. For more information, take a look at the Press Release and the Conference Report. Photos of the event can be found in our media library. Click here to read an "Energy Post" interview with Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council, on the occasion of the ONS Summit.

Energy Security Summit 2015: "Crises and Prices: Energy Security Amidst Multiple Uncertainties"

The Energy Security Summit 2015 took place on May 6 and 7, 2015 in Berlin. Among the high-level participants and speakers were the Minister of Petroleum of Iran, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, and US Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Amos Hochstein. Topics included the energy-strategic implications of the Ukraine crisis and the oil price volatility.

Click here for the Summit's full program, and here for a list of participants. Photos of the event can be found in our media library.

Energy Security Summit 2014: "The Next Great Game? Global Impacts of the Shale Revolution"

Do the shale revolution in the US and the crisis in Ukraine represent major turning points for European energy policy and European energy security? These and other key questions were front and center at the second Energy Security Summit, held on May 27 and 28 in Berlin. Speakers and panelists included, among many others, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the US Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Carlos Pascual, EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger as well as numerous energy and defense ministers from Eastern Europe and North Africa and business executives.

A concluding report of the summit's debates is available here. Further available information: an agenda and list of speakers (PDF), and pictures as well as select videos and audio files in our media library.