Authors: Andrzej Ancygier and Kacper Szulecki
Espri Working paper no. 4, 2014
While the European Commission envisaged the creation of a ‘common European energy market’ by 2014, it is quite clear that the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty protecting national sovereignty over energy policies and mixes are here to stay. We have, however, seen some visible moves towards EU-wide energy governance coordination through regulation and steering bodies. What about policy convergence? While some authors argue that we are seeing policy convergence in the specific area of renewable energy (regulated by the Climate and Energy Package targets), we investigate a case of clear non-convergence: Germany and Poland.
This article analyzes the different channels and mechanisms of policy diffusion and tries to explain why, despite the geographic proximity and compatibility of energy systems, Germany and Poland have so far been very different in their renewable energy policy choices. We focus on four mechanisms discussed in the political science literature: learning, emulation, competition and coercion, and show why the Polish government is largely ignoring the developments taking place in the neighboring country and following its established pattern of development in the power sector. We show the limits and potentials of each mechanism, and conclude with some policy implications for both neighboring countries.
Keywords: renewable energy policy, policy diffusion, energy transition, Poland, Germany