EU Internal Energy Market Policy: New Dynamics in the Brussels Policy Game?

FNI Report 14/2008. Lysaker, FNI, 2008, 67 p.

The paper analyses the September 2007 European Commission proposal for a third internal energy policy package. It asks if the proposal reflected fundamental changes in the Brussels policy game from 2003, when the existing legislation had been adopted. A multi-level governance approach has inspired this check of alternative propositions. We find that the proposal was primarily the result of greater will on the part of the Commission to pressure unwilling member-state governments. There is also strong evidence that the Commission pursued a new form of multi-level game, pressing non-state agents directly to change the political game at the national level. Our study finally discusses whether different network approaches would add explanatory power to our study, acknowledging that agents working in larger networks could have greater thrust on the Commission. The main conclusion is that EU policy networks have become less stable and more issue-specific, making policy predictions less certain than before.