Softening the surface but hardening the core? Governing renewable energy in the EU

Schoenefeld, Jonas and Knodt, Michèle (2021) Softening the surface but hardening the core? Governing renewable energy in the EU. West European Politics, 44 (1). pp. 49-71. ISSN 0140-2382

[thumbnail of Published_Version]
PDF (Published_Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview


Soft law and governance captured the attention of scholars in the 2000s, andnew policy challenges and the novel introduction of‘harder’elements now drivea (re)turn to these discussions. This article explores the extent to which dynamicsleading towards‘harder soft governance’(HSG) appear in the EU’s renewableenergy governance by comparing the 2020 and 2030 Renewable EnergyDirectives. Document analysis and interviews reveal a surface-level softeningbecause the new 2030 directive contains no binding national targets for theMember States. An entrepreneurial Commission has been seeking to introduce‘harder elements’at the core by focusing on implementation, allowing for poten-tially deeper influence on the national energy mixes though the Energy Union.Two main factors drive these changes: the evolving international context of cli-mate change governance, as well as re-configurations of the actors in the EU.Future research should explore the effectiveness of emerging HSG in detail

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Issue on: Normative Transformations in the European Union: On Hardening and Softening Law
Uncontrolled Keywords: energy union,european union,soft law,harder soft governance (hsg),policy monitoring,renewable energy,soft governance,political science and international relations,sdg 7 - affordable and clean energy ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3320
UEA Research Groups: University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2020 00:05
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 06:21
DOI: 10.1080/01402382.2020.1761732


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item