De Jong, H.M.; T. Kapetanovic and R.A. Hakvoort: European Governance Modes - An Empirical Analysis of the European Power Industry Framework, pp. 1-24. In: The Proceedings of the 0th Conference of the International Association for Energy Economics: From Restructuring to Sustainability: Energy Policies for the 21st Century, 18-23 February 2007. At: Wellington, New Zealand. Cleveland OH: IAEE, 2007 Eds.: Geoff Bertram. ISBN: ISSN 1559-792X. International proceeding (refereed)
The multi-level character of the administrative system of the European Union (EU) has resulted in a
complex interleaving of powers and competencies of public and private actors at various administrative levels (Knill and Lenschow, 2003).
Some consider European governance having serious performance problems both in terms of input (relying on the principles of democratic standards) and output criteria (decision-making, implementation and problem-solving). Furthermore, the EU is often considered to be plagued by a technocratic image and one may observe a fading acceptance of EU policy-making among European citizens in the recent years that yields from public opinion polls EU-wide. At the same time, we witness an increase of the complexity of the issues on the European political agenda. For example, the EU is increasingly confronted with relatively detailed issues in which the divergent status quo in the (increasing number of) member states often plays a prominent role. Furthermore, one must more and more deal with issues where the legal authority for EU level action is limited or non existent. Putting it straight forward, a number of issues are emerging at the EU agenda where the divergent status quo is becoming prohibitive for the required future development and evolution.
In this setting, so-called new modes of governance, characterized by a high level of flexibility, a relatively low level of direct obligation, a high level of discretion, experimentalism, coordination, and a decentralized participation of stakeholders, have emerged over the last decades.
This paper focuses on European governance and in particular on the role of European modes of
governance related to European power markets. The division of powers within the European Union is
briefly discussed first. Following that, an overview of traditional and new modes of European governance is given in Chapters 3 and 4. After that, the application of the various governance approaches in the process of restructuring and liberalizing the European power sector and integrating the national power markets are analyzed. Based on this analysis, the dominating modes of governance in view of today’s European power markets are addressed. Concluding, these dominant modes of governance are evaluated in terms of specific input and output criteria that characterize good governance.