National Government Interventions in a Global Arena
Edited by Frank Wijen, Kees Zoeteman, Jan Pieters and Paul van Seters
Chapter 13: Different Countries, Different Strategies: ‘Green’ Member States Influencing EU Climate Policy
Sietske Veenman and Duncan Liefferink1 SUMMARY Environmentally proactive member states of the European Union (EU) influence European legislation in different ways. Green ‘pushers’ seek direct influence at the EU level, whereas ‘forerunners’ try to get national elements incorporated in an indirect fashion. Together with a second dimension, the nature of national policies (purposeful or incremental), four national positions towards EU legislation can be identified: pusher-by-example, constructive pusher, defensive forerunner, and opter-out. We applied an amended version of this framework to the influence of three ‘green’ member states – the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK), and Denmark – on the European Commission and the European Council when preparing and deciding on new legislation as to carbon dioxide taxation and emissions trading, both related to climate policy. Different aspects of influence were tested: timing, nature of contacts, alliance building, and uploading of national elements. We concluded that one type of position should be revised (late starter is preferable to opter-out); besides, countries may simultaneously follow different strategies rather than adopt one single approach. INTRODUCTION Studies of the strategies that EU member states employ to influence the European environmental policy process can either cover all member 1 The authors would like to thank Frank Wijen, Mariëlle van der Zouwen, and Alkuin Kölliker for numerous suggestions and comments. Thanks are also due to Jan Pieters for his inputs and observations and to Mar Robillard for her assistance in the English language. Naturally, any shortcomings are those of the authors. 387 M2782 - WIJEN TEXT.indd...
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