The EU’s Green Dynamism: Deadlock and Change in Energy and Environmental Policy


Combining the joint-decision trap model with the major theories of European integration, The EU’s Green Dynamism examines how the EU can be an environmental pace-maker, when it virtually depends on the agreement of all member states. The book examines the first mandatory cars emission standards for greenhouse gas, which have promoted the ongoing move to electrical vehicles, and which some carmakers have failed to implement in the context of the VW affair/Dieselgate. It also analyses the contested decision to phase out incandescent lightbulbs.

London: Rowman & Littlefield/ECPR Press

‘This book makes a timely and fresh contribution to the study of EU environmental policy. It provides new theoretical and empirical insights on the factors constraining and driving the policy innovation and progress. A highly interesting read for students of EU environmental policy and EU policy-making in general.’

  • Christoph Knill, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

‘Often, but not always, the EU is able to forge green policies beyond the preferences of the least ambitious. This book not only provides new insight into the mechanisms for bypassing joint-decision traps, it is also noteworthy for its skilful analysis of the conditions for variance in progress across novel areas of energy efficiency. Recommended reading!’

  • Jon Birger Skjærseth, Fridtjof Nansen Institute

‘Amidst a Union struggling with multiple crises, this book shows why the EU fares much better than nation states in meeting the biggest challenge yet: environmental degradation. Detailed case studies on energy efficiency allow Deters to discover different mechanisms that overcome the joint-decision trap. His carefully researched and insightful analysis of how compromise can build on diverse national preferences is most timely.’

  • Susanne K. Schmidt, University of Bremen

‘This book offers a novel twist on the well-known claim that the EU has to escape a series of internal political traps that are ever present. By drawing on careful process-tracing analyses of three little-studied energy efficiency laws, Deters reveals how actors work together to achieve this and in so doing, opens up a fascinating new research agenda covering the revision of existing policies.’

  • Andrew Jordan, University of East Anglia

The book stands out for clarity and coherence. It provides a detailed overview of the variety of pathways that policy-making can follow in the EU system. For that reason, it is an excellent reading for anyone who is interested in how the EU makes policy, whether environmental or otherwise.

  • Book review by Francesca Pia Vantaggiato (2021) in Journal of Common Market Studies 59(2): 479-480.

Preview and Order