Europe aims to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector though the so-called Southern Corridor, a group of transit networks that includes the planned Nabucco gas pipeline.
Germany, the largest net contributor of funds for the European Union, said this week that the European government should have some regulatory authority but the private sector should contribute most of the money for energy projects.
European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek told the EUobserver that the annual European budget pales in comparison to the amount of money needed to build just a few short miles of oil and natural gas pipelines. Energy investments need backing from both the private sector and European governments, he said.
"The private sector alone cannot finance all energy projects Europe needs," the president added.
Most of the pipelines planned for the European community, including Russia's Nord Stream and South Stream, are led by energy consortia like Russia's Gazprom and Germany's Wintershall. Buzek added, however, that none of those projects would get off the ground without political support.
"Usually, big energy deals are done with the political support of governments," he said.