Close

Many faces of dismantling: hiding policy change in non-legislative acts in EU environmental policy

Jan Pollex (University of Osnabrück) & Andrea Lenschow (University of Osnabrück)

As new policy initiatives shuttle through the EU’s institutions, we expect policy-makers to chisel away at the language contained in these proposals to make sure that policies’ anticipated effects match policy-makers’ preferences before they are formally adopted. Yet, even once a policy successfully exits the legislative arena, its actual impact may be subject to change. In their article “Many faces of dismantling: hiding policy change in non-legislative acts in EU environmental policy” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Jan Pollex and Andrea Lenschow argue that the EU’s regulatory legislation typically provides the European Commission with opportunities to shape the actual effects of policies after their adoption by designing specific implementation measures. In light of the Commission’s prioritisation of fostering economic growth in response to the economic crisis, Jan and Andrea provide case studies of the EU’s ecolabel and ecodesign policies and show that the Commission had used its powers of specifying implementing measures to ease the regulatory pressure in the EU’s environmental policy. Jan and Andrea’s analysis highlights that in order to evaluate the EU’s environmental policy it is necessary to pay close attention to the actual implementation of policy, as “we might see policy dismantling in disguise, effectively softening environmental regulatory pressure on producers within rather stable regulatory structures.”

The EU as a savior and a saint? Corruption and public support for redistribution

Monika Bauhr (University of Gothenburg) & Nicholas Charron (University of Gothenburg)

Strike a conversation with a stranger about the EU these days and you are (rather) unlikely to end up chatting about the EU’s Cohesion Policy. But why not actually? After all, development projects funded in the context of the Cohesion Policy account for roughly a third of the EU’s annual budget and the policy is the bloc’s key tool to address social and economic disparities both across and within its Member States. In their article “The EU as a savior and a saint? Corruption and public support for redistribution” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, Monika Bauhr and Nicholas Charron address the gap in our knowledge on European citizens’ support for the EU’s cross-border redistribution of resources. Drawing on original survey data tailored to capture public opinion on the EU’s Cohesion Policy in 15 Member States, Monika and Nicholas conclude that citizens generally express some sense of support for redistribution within the EU. However, their analysis shows that this support is shaped by citizens’ perceptions of domestic corruption. Monika and Nicholas find that those who perceive domestic institutions as performing poorly “are more likely to perceive the EU as both a potential ‘savior and saint’, that will ultimately ensure better public service delivery and governance systems less plagued by corruption and mismanagement of public funds.”