Energy independence is high on the agenda of a conference in Vienna today that brings together members of the European Parliament and senior European Union officials.
The conference is examining how the conflict in Ukraine, and threats by Russia's state-run Gazprom to cut off gas shipments passing through Ukraine, are affecting the EU's relations with its eastern neighbors.
Johannes Hahn, the EU Commissioner on Neighborhood Policy, was due to speak about the importance of energy issues in the EU's policy toward its eastern neighbors.
That workshop has been titled "After Nabucco and South Stream -- the region needs a fresh start”" -- a reference to troubled pipeline proposals meant to link Central and Eastern Europe's natural gas markets with Russia and the Caspian Sea region.
Delegates are also discussing how energy efficiency and renewable energy resources can lessen the EU's dependence on Russian gas.