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Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 73; doi:10.3390/socsci6030073

Windows of Opportunity for Whom? Commissioners, Access, and the Balance of Interest in European Environmental Governance

Center for Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research (ZIN), University of Muenster, Muenster 48151, Germany
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 11 July 2017
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The European Union’s ambition on environmental issues proves to be highly uneven. While it has agreed on stringent binding sustainability objectives in its reforms of the Common Fisheries Policy in 2013, it failed to reach such agreement on its 2030 climate change objectives at almost the same time. How can we make sense of this uneven performance of the European Union (EU) in environmental policy? The present article argues that integrating the multiple streams approach (MSA) with a focus on business power allows a better understanding of the divergence in the EU’s sustainability ambitions across policy fields. Based on this framework, it suggests that Commissioners can be highly influential policy entrepreneurs in the European governance process. Employing a content analysis of relevant documents from the two policy processes as well as interviews with representatives from political as well as non-state actors, the article depicts the suggested dynamics and deduces corresponding lessons for science and politics. View Full-Text
Keywords: MSA; business power; European Union; climate change; fisheries MSA; business power; European Union; climate change; fisheries

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fuchs, D. Windows of Opportunity for Whom? Commissioners, Access, and the Balance of Interest in European Environmental Governance. Soc. Sci. 2017, 6, 73.

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