Exploring the Energy-Environment Relationship in the EU: Perspectives and Challenges for Theorizing and Empirical Analysis

Jale Tosun, Israel Solorio

Abstract


Environmental concerns have played a key role for institutionalizing energy policy at the level of the European Union. There is thus a tendency in research literature to assume that the objectives of these cognate policy areas are compatible and mutually reinforcing. There have been only few efforts, however, to critically assess the quality of this relationship. The contributions to this mini-special issue reveal that the instruments employed in these two policy fields are markedly different. Environmental policy instruments are mostly based on the command-and-control logic whereas environment-related European energy policy is characterized by the use of ‘softer’ measures. The second main finding is that despite the centrality of climate change concerns in the rhetoric of the European Commission, an effective integration of environmental goals into energy policy is difficult to achieve.

Keywords


Competition policy; electricity; energy policy; environmental policy; European Commission; European law; Europeanization; harmonization; integration theory; Lisbon Treaty; national interest; neo-functionalism; Single Market, political science

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