Chapter 13: German environmental federalism in the multilevel system of the European Union
The workings of environmental federalism in Germany are strongly shaped by the multi-level character of the polity. The complex architecture of German federalism assigns different competencies to the federal and the Länder levels and provides for intense coordination across those levels. This setting is further complicated by interaction with European Union actors, institutions, processes and regulations. Furthermore, environmental policy-making cross-cuts different ‘traditional’ policy fields and requires different instruments. In our contribution we analyze this complex policy-making network of actors, institutions and processes along the phases of the policy cycle. The analysis reveals, first, that the Europeanization of environmental policy led to relevant changes and adaptations in the institutional structure in Germany; and second, that in spite of numerous potential veto points and opportunities for deadlock due to interactions of non-state and state actors from all levels of government, environmental decision-making in the German system is surprisingly effective.
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