EU Policies and Decision-Making

This broad theme relates to the output-dimension of democratic governance against the backdrop of the increasing pooling of powers at the EU level. Under investigation in this work package are ways in which different values and objectives (environmental, economic, social…) are and can be integrated into policymaking. Empirically, researchers under this theme work on a range of key challenges in modern societies and democracies, including environmental and climate policy, energy policy, migration and integration policy, eGovernment policy, and economic and competition policy.

Claire Dupont works on the integration of environmental and climate objectives into other sectoral policy areas at the EU level, and the challenges posed to democratic political systems by long-term, cross-sectoral problems, such as climate change. With a focus on the energy sector, she investigates how climate objectives are balanced against energy security and economic concerns in the EU. Claire Dupont has also worked on the implications of long-term political decisions to decarbonise the EU’s economy for both internal policies in the EU and external relations with energy partners. She has also started working on the representation of future generations in political decision making on energy and climate issues, and how or whether the interests of future generations (who cannot vote) can or should be considered when making policy on the choice of energy source and environmental or climate goals.

Ferran Davesa’s doctoral research analyses the EU’s participatory governance reliance upon Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The European Commission’s White Paper on Governance (2001) outlined some good governance principles to lead EU rules, processes and behaviour to a path of enhanced legitimacy. These principles are: openness, participation, accountability, coherence and effectiveness. Using both a classical and a computer-based content analysis strategy, Davesa’s research generates empirical insight into the salience of such principles and the framing developed by EU institutions. The research is planned as a case study based on a proposal of enhanced dialogue between citizens and policy-makers: that is EU’s Youth Strategy. By doing that, the research addresses how EU governance relates to European youth after more than ten years since the White Paper was approved. In order to test good governance principles against policy-makers’ views, a set of semi-structured interviews will be conducted in the Council, the Commission and the Parliament during the following stages of the research. Finally, using the settings of the European Youth Event (EYE) and Commission’s Youth Conference, Davesa uses a survey approach for testing youth participants' evaluations against their own expectations.