Creating Convergence of National Energy Policies by Increased Cooperation: EU Energy Governance and Its Impact on the German Energy Transition

  • Michèle KnodtEmail author
  • Marc Ringel


Our contribution reviews the impact of the European energy governance regulation on the German energy transition (Energiewende). The German energy transition has largely been conceived as a national project of system transformation. Based on a close policy fit, the national strategy is aligned to European targets and policies, but still has only taken account of the European dimension of this transformation when this was beneficial for the implementation of national policies. The European governance regulation included in the European Commission’s ‘winter package’ in turn introduces a new type of stronger interaction and coordination which we define as a ‘horizontal joint decision-making+’ type governance. This governance relies on a densely meshed reporting structure leading to a structured dialogue between several groups of stakeholders within a member state, among member states and finally between each member state and the European Commission. The primary effects of this new governance type can be judged to be closely aligned to national German policy-setting, which explains the strong German support for the new governance proposal. However, the secondary effects of horizontal governance legislation and sectoral policies might lead to a stronger influence on German energy policies by both neighbouring EU member states and the European Commission.


European Union Energy Union Energiewende Energy policy 



The research presented in this contribution is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Reference: 03SFK4P0, Consortium ENavi, Kopernikus).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TU DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Umwelt Nürtingen-GeislingenGeislingenGermany

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