Towards European Energy Policy
affiliation not provided to SSRN
September 1, 2010
The struggle over a common European energy policy is a special case of Europeanization of policy-making and up to the 1980s it was regarded as a spectacular failure (George 1985:100). Energy policy has been characterized by strong conflicts between a common policy, on the one hand, and divergent national policies, on the other. The focus of this project is the emergence of a common EU energy policy during the 1990s. Despite its inclusion in the very first treaties on the European Community, energy was until very recently more or less unaffected by common market legislation, and few energy policy decisions were taken at the central EU level. Therefore, explaining the emergence of Common European Energy policy in 1990s is not only puzzling, but also a relevant as it is happening in front of our eyes and represents an understudied topic in European studies literature so far. In addition, the research carries a practical relevance as energy dependence is one of the most important challenges currently facing Europe.
The ensuing paper will try to explain the emergence of a common EU energy policy by looking at conditions under which the policy area previously dominated by national authorities is driven to the European level and processes underpinning the expansion of supranational authority and subsequent development of a common policy. Institutional/Supranational Governance perspective with a generous interpretation of the influence of institutions will serve to elucidate the movement toward the common energy policy in the EU. I will conduct a case study through process tracing supplanted by extensive content analysis of primary sources, such as official documents of the EU institutions and the member states, primary and secondary EU legislation and ECJ case law.
The broader theoretical contribution of the research to the field of European Studies is two-fold: First, no coherent theoretical attempt has been made so far to explain the emergence of European energy policy and the proposed research represents a pioneering study. Second, the proposed research will make a significant contribution to the body of literature on integration, supranational governance and institutionalization as the creation of European energy policy can serve as a crucial case for theory building as well as testing existing theoretical propositions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: EU, energy policy, supranationalization
JEL Classification: Q49, N74working papers series
Date posted: September 3, 2010
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