- Studies in EU Reform and Enlargement series
Edited by Udo Diedrichs, Wulf Reiners and Wolfgang Wessels
Chapter 5: Social Policy and Environmental Policy: Comparing Modes of Governance
Oliver Treib, Holger Bähr and Gerda Falkner INTRODUCTION 1 The European Union (EU) is a highly sectorized polity. The different policy areas are marked by a wide variety of legislative procedures, constellations of actors and policy instruments. To grasp the logic of policymaking in the EU, we thus need a toolkit to understand the differences and similarities between policy areas. The concepts of governance and modes of governance are useful instruments for arriving at this understanding. In this chapter, we use these conceptual tools to analyse the emergence and evolution of modes of governance in EU social policy and EU environmental policy. We use the term ‘governance’ in a broad sense as structures of societal coordination and control in order to encompass both developments in the policy areas concerned and differences between the two policy areas within one concept. However, a broad conception of governance covering the structures of the whole process of policy-making adds to the complexity and easily loses the organizing and structuring function of the concept. We therefore disentangle the concept into three dimensions: (1) the way in which societal interests are incorporated into the initiation, formulation and adoption of policies (interest intermediation); (2) the institutional rules determining who is entitled to take part in decision-making and how decisions are taken (modes of interaction); and (3) the way in which agreed policy objectives are implemented (policy instruments). The two policy areas have been chosen for analytical reasons. EU social policy and EU environmental policy are suitable...
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