Small Visegrad Countries and EU Climate and Energy Policy

Mats Braun

The East-West divide within the EU over climate policy has been discussed quite frequently in the scholarly literature. However, there is a tendency in this literature to focus on Poland and to ignore the big differences between the EU member states in East Central Europe when it comes to the climate and energy priorities. For this reason this paper provides for a closer examination of the three smaller countries of the Visegrad 4 group; in other words the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The paper provides for a case study into the role of these countries in the negotiations on the EU's climate and energy goals for 2030. The analysis is put into the context of previous research on this group of countries, and the question is posed whether some indications of socialization can be identified in the countries regarding climate policy issues. The paper suggests that socialization in these group of countries, actually implies an increased willingness to challenge other member states over climate and energy policy. However, there are also indications that a view of climate policy as an economic possibility might be emerging in the broader society in some of the countries under examination.

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