An Environmental Approach
Edited by Francesc Morata and Israel Solorio Sandoval
Chapter 7: A Differential Approach to Energy Policy? Explaining the Prevalence of Market-based Energy Policy Instruments in Central and Eastern Europe
Michael Dobbins and Jale Tosun 7.1 INTRODUCTION The accession of ten post-socialist countries1 to the European Union (EU) has induced a lively academic debate regarding its implications for the European environmental decision-making capacity. Some analysts have argued that the eastern enlargement could negatively impact both on the environmental decision-making capacity of the EU and on the level of environmental protection, and could reverse previously made progress (see Holzinger and Knoepfel, 2000; von Homeyer et al., 2000; Baker, 2001; Wilkinson et al., 2004). This potential setback is generally explained by the traditionally low level of protection in central and eastern Europe (CEE) as well as the purportedly weak administrative capacity of the new EU members (Holzinger and Knoepfel, 2000; Jehlic ka and Tickle, 2004). ˇ Additional aggravating factors are the historical legacies of energy-intensive communist patterns of production, industrial pollution and the weakness of environmental associations and consumer interests (Soveroski, 2000; Skjaerseth and Wettestad, 2007). On the other hand, optimists point to the new opportunities created by EU enlargement, for example the creation of a pan-European environmental and energy strategy, the joint development of innovative steering instruments together with environmental policy forerunners and the capacity of the EU system to trigger reforms (von Homeyer, 2001). To be sure, there is a novel research perspective – the research on the external governance of the EU – which even claims that the EU positively affects the (environmental) policies of third countries that are not even accession candidates (see Lavenex, 2004; Lavenex and Uçarer, 2004; Lavenex...
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