Energy Policy Coherence from an Intra-Institutional Perspective: Energy Security and Environmental Policy Coordination within the European Commission
European Integration online Papers (EIoP), Vol. 19, Article 2 (2015)
29 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 21, 2015
Utilising the theoretical framework of discursive institutionalism, this article investigates the problem of policy incoherence. We suggest focusing on the micro-level of policy-shaping processes through the lenses of discursive institutionalism as it is the most suitable approach to study the combination of institutional factors and actor-interaction.
Empirically we focus on the field of energy policy, where despite the introduction of specific coordinative mechanisms, high levels of policy incoherence prevail. We further zoom in at the preparatory stage of policy-making, where policy coherence can be assumed to be highest, in the intra-institutional politics in the Commission. In this setting we study the implications of intra-institutional coordinative discourse and ask under what conditions it affects policy coherence. In this quest, the process of energy policy-making inside the European Commission is further exemplified by a detailed case study about the Energy Efficiency Directive. Evidence suggests that even in an institutional context that is formally favourable to policy coordination, policy coherence may fail in highly politicized contexts and within an unproductive mode of coordinative discourse that undermines the moderation of sharply differing ideas between DGs.
Keywords: European Commission, energy policy, environmental policy, institutions, legislative procedure, neo-institutionalism, policy coordination, discourse, political science
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation