Energy Policies in the EU – A Fiscal Federalism Perspective

  • Erik Gawel
  • Sebastian StrunzEmail author
Living reference work entry


In this chapter, we apply the theory of Fiscal Federalism to energy policies in the EU. Centralization of decision-making power and homogeneity of policies incur both costs and benefits. We look at the case of renewable energy sources (RES) policies in more detail to specify the relevant pros and cons. Finding that neither full and imminent centralization/homogenization nor complete fragmentation would be desirable, we explore whether bottom-up convergence might offer a feasible way to sensibly balance the trade-off. From an empirical perspective, there is some evidence for (temporary and conditional) convergence of RES policies. Overall, the efforts of the EU Commission to steer national policies more directly promise to reap some more of the possible benefits of cooperation. The analysis, however, also makes clear that there exist not only politico-economic obstacles but also economic rationales against fully harmonizing all aspects of EU energy policy.


Centralization Convergence Decentralization Energy Union Fiscal federalism Harmonization Heterogeneity 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Infrastructure and Resources ManagementLeipzig UniversityLeipzigGermany

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