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'Inverted' Principal-Agent as a New Tool to Explain the Implementation of the European Renewable Energy Policy

Andrzej Ancygier

The issue of implementation of the European directives in the member states gained on importance since 12 new,mostly Central and East European states, joined the EU in 2004. Effective implementation of the acquiscommunautaire has become an issue especially in the area of renewable energy - an area in which a significantdifference of interests exists between such countries as Germany, which promotes stricter environmentalstandards, and Poland, a country which energy sector is in over 60% based on coal.In my paper I will propose a framework that could be of great help in explaining the impact of the difference ofinterests on the effectiveness of the implementation of the EU directives. An approach called Principal-AgentModel has often been used to explain the relationships between national and supranational actors. Its main utilitylies in providing an explanation for the process of 'shirking': situation in which an agent fails to fulfill its obligationstowards a principal. But so far, in most cases, it is the states that are treated as the principals and internationalinstitutions are considered to be agents, whose main task is to fulfill the obligations set for the by the states.In my paper I will argue, that an 'inverted' P-A Model is of much greater use in explaining the relations betweenthe European Commission and member states at certain stages of the policy implementation. I will prove, that thedifference of interests between Brussels on one hand the national capitals on the other significantly influences theeffectiveness of the implementation of the EU acquis communautaire in the member countries.

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