European energy policy

Authored by: Nicole Herweg

The Routledge Handbook of European Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138927339
eBook ISBN: 9781315682723
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315682723-25

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Abstract

Energy policy is concerned with the production, utilization, transport, and supply of primary energy (fossil, mineral, and renewable energy) and secondary energy (which results from the conversion or transformation of primary energies) (Tosun 2016). The first 30 years of EU energy policy show little or no evidence of an official policy (cf. Buchan and Keay 2015: 7), meaning that the EU executive neither elaborated clearly nor formulated explicitly a governance strategy for current and future energy balances (McGowan 1996: 133). This situation led some observers to conclude that energy policy integration was “the most spectacular failure in the process of integration” (George 1985: 100). However, the slow pace of integration of European Union (EU) energy policy does not imply a lack of progress because the EU has adopted a variety of policies in contiguous policy sectors which, intentionally or incidentally, influence the energy industries and energy balances in what can be interpreted as an “unofficial energy policy” (McGowan 1996: 133). When analyzing the evolution and content of EU energy policy, this distinction between official and unofficial energy policy is particularly insightful.

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