The Power of Experts in EU Environmental Policy Formulation: The EU Emission Trading Review and Auctioning of Emission Permits from an Epistemic Communities Approach

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine the role of knowledge societies, so called epistemic communities, in the problem-defining and initial decision-making stages of the EU policymaking process leading to a Proposal for amendment of Directive 2003/87/EC establishing the European Emission Trading System (EU ETS). Specifically in the decision to drastically increase the amount of allowances auctioned for the third phase of the EU ETS. It also includes a discussion on the implications of the findings for the notion of the EU suffering from a democratic deficit. The study attempts to uncover the possible influence an epistemic community on the 3rd meeting during the EU ETS Review in the spring/summer of 2007, argued to have laid the foundation for The Commission's proposal. Findings imply that influence was exerted by an epistemic community on The Commission by framing the issue and providing viable solutions in an atmosphere of uncertainty, and that the influence of epistemic communities can be seen as detrimental for the EU as a democratic organization from what is labelled as traditional democratic values. However, several problems with the theory are identified and cast a doubt on the findings, including epistemic communities? ability of coordinated action.

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