Cause, catalyst or conjunction? The influence of the Habitats Directive on policy instrument choice in Member States

Irene Bouwma*, Bas Arts, Duncan Liefferink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the process of implementing EU policy, Member States sometimes introduce new policy instruments in cases where this is not obligatory. To better understand this phenomenon, this paper reviews three cases in which new instruments emerged and develops a methodology to trace back the influence of EU Directives on instrument choice. The method is illustrated by a narrative of the emergence of new management planning instruments during the implementation of the EU Habitats Directive in three EU Member States: Finland, Hungary and the Netherlands. Three key features of a policy instrument are defined, namely, its authoritative force, action content and governance design. These are used to measure the contribution of the Habitats Directive compared to other potential explanatory causes for the emergence of the new policy instrument. In all three reviewed countries a nested causal relationship between the Habitats Directive and the introduction of the new policy instrument is identified. Based on the relative contribution of the Habitats Directive to the emergence of the new instrument a distinction is made whether the Directive acted as a cause, catalyst or if conjunction occurred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-996
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Volume60
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • EU Directive
  • governance
  • management planning
  • Natura 2000
  • policy instrument choice

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