Multi-level lobbying in the EU: The case of the Renewables Directive and the German energy industry

FNI Report 10/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 109 p.

This study examines the lobbying strategies employed by the interest organizations of Germany’s energy industries in the process leading up to the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive. How did they lobby, and what does this reveal about their perceptions of power relations in the EU? This report focuses on the most controversial part of the Directive: legal prescriptions for support mechanisms to increase the production of renewable energy in Europe. The utilities and the renewables industries disagreed deeply, with the utilities industry favouring an EU-wide green certificate scheme, while the renewables industry pressed for national feed-in tariffs. Nine interest organizations representing these sectors, five German and four at the EU level, serve as cases in this study. Expectations as to lobbying behaviour based on the two theories/theory perspectives of liberal intergovernmentalism (LI) and multi-level governance (MLG) are formulated and tested in a most-likely case design. Result: observations are better described by the MLG perspective than by LI.