A Common Renewable Energy Policy in Europe? Explaining the German-Polish Policy Non-Convergence

ESPRi Working Paper No 4

30 Pages Posted: 9 May 2014

See all articles by Andrzej Ancygier

Andrzej Ancygier

Hertie School of Governance; New York University; Environmental Policy Research Center

Kacper Szulecki

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science; ESPRi

Date Written: April 1, 2014


While the European Commission envisaged the creation of a ‘common European energy market’ by 2014, it is quite clear that the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty protecting national sovereignty over energy policies and mixes are here to stay. We have, however, seen some visible moves towards EU-wide energy governance coordination through regulation and steering bodies. What about policy convergence? While some authors argue that we are seeing policy convergence in the specific area of renewable energy (regulated by the Climate and Energy Package targets), we investigate a case of clear non-convergence: Germany and Poland.

This article analyzes the different channels and mechanisms of policy diffusion and tries to explain why, despite the geographic proximity and compatibility of energy systems, Germany and Poland have so far been very different in their renewable energy policy choices. We focus on four mechanisms discussed in the political science literature: learning, emulation, competition and coercion, and show why the Polish government is largely ignoring the developments taking place in the neighboring country and following its established pattern of development in the power sector. We show the limits and potentials of each mechanism, and conclude with some policy implications for both neighboring countries.

Keywords: renewable energy policy, policy diffusion, energy transition, Poland, Germany

Suggested Citation

Ancygier, Andrzej and Szulecki, Kacper, A Common Renewable Energy Policy in Europe? Explaining the German-Polish Policy Non-Convergence (April 1, 2014). ESPRi Working Paper No 4, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2434530 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2434530

Andrzej Ancygier (Contact Author)

Hertie School of Governance ( email )

Schlossplatz 1
Berlin, 10178

New York University ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
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New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Environmental Policy Research Center ( email )

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Berlin, 14195

HOME PAGE: http://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/en/polwiss/forschung/systeme/ffu/kontakt/index.html

Kacper Szulecki

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317

ESPRi ( email )

Rosponda 9
Wroclaw, 52-419

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