Dear colleagues,

We would like to warmly invite you to submit panels and papers to the section 
on EU Climate and Energy Policy in Turbulent Times at the 10th Biennial 
Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on the European Union (Rome, 3–6 June 

In a crisis-ridden EU, climate and energy policy is often seen as a respite – 
an area that provides a positive agenda of which the EU is in short supply. For 
example, the EU is preparing its long-term strategy aiming for carbon 
neutrality by 2050 and reviewing its just-adopted 2030 Climate and Energy 
Policy Framework, as public mobilization for climate issues, such as the Youth 
for Climate movement, continues making headlines. However, these developments 
operate in a problematic and fragile context. Internally, the erosion of 
liberal democracy and the rise of right-wing populism endanger wide societal 
consensuses and diminish governments’ appetite for strong European and 
international institutions. Externally, the crisis of the liberal international 
order accentuates geopolitical thinking, economic competition and 
inward-looking policies, all of which undermine the trust and cooperative 
momentum needed for a global energy transition.

The goal of this Section is to examine how these wider tensions interact with 
EU climate and energy policy, including along the following dimensions:

  *   EU-Member State relations: The Governance Regulation for the Energy Union 
and climate action has established a delicate balance between working towards 
common goals and retaining national authority. Is the Regulation hardening 
governance or does it signify renationalization of EU climate and energy 

  *   State-Market relations: While the EU remains committed to completing the 
Single Energy Market, mechanisms for stronger state and EU public intervention 
are under development (including industrial policies, capacity mechanisms, 
screening of foreign investments). The extent of this public-private 
recalibration and its drivers warrant closer inspection.

  *   State/EU-Society relations: The transition to a low-carbon economy 
unfolds during times of crisis of representative democracy and rising climate 
scepticism in the wake of right-wing populism. To what extent does and can a 
more democratic and participatory climate and energy policy (citizens’ energy 
projects, participation in the development of national energy and climate 
plans, etc.) and approaches of a “just transition” help bridge these tensions?

  *   EU-Third country relations: In addition to the decarbonisation 
imperative, the EU is facing more competitive dynamics in regional and 
international energy governance, including from the One Belt, One Road 
Initiative. EU-sponsored regimes such as the Energy Community and the Energy 
Charter are undergoing a modernization process and Brexit is fostering debates 
on differentiated energy integration. This calls for a critical appraisal of 
the EU’s energy engagement with neighbouring areas and beyond, including in the 
light of decarbonisation.

We are looking forward to receiving your Panel and Paper proposals engaging 
with one or several of the above dimensions or related issues - deadline for 
submission is 16 December:

In case of questions, please contact

Kind regards,

Anna Herranz-Surrallés (Maastricht University) and Sebastian Oberthür (VUB)

Jean Monnet Network on Governing the EU’s Climate and Energy Transition in 
Turbulent Times (GOVTRAN) – visit<>!

Latest publications:

Sebastian Oberthür (2019), Hard or Soft Governance? The EU’s Climate and Energy 
Policy Framework for 
 Politics and Governance, 7: 1, 17-27.

Sebastian Oberthür and Eliza Northrop (2018), Towards an Effective Mechanism to 
Facilitate Implementation and Promote Compliance under the Paris 
Climate Law, 8, 39-69.

Sebastian Oberthür & Lisanne Groen (2018): Explaining goal achievement in 
international negotiations: the EU and the Paris Agreement on climate 
Journal of European Public Policy, 25: 5, 708-727 DOI: 


Environment and Sustainable Development

M +32 (0)477 84 16 54<>

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