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The willing, the unwilling and the unable – explaining implementation of the EU Biofuels Directive

Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 545-563
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of European Public Policy
Volym: 17
Nummer: 4
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Taylor & Francis


In this article we test current knowledge of policy implementation in multi-level governance systems and focus on the case of transport biofuels. The EU biofuel directive is a highly debated case with a disappointing implementation record. We probe a set of implementation hypotheses in a qualitative comparative analysis, offering a systematic comparison of ten member states between 2003 and 2006. The findings show that implementation of the EU biofuels policy is a complex phenomenon where combinations of causal conditions, and not single conditions, produces the outcome. We conclude that implementation is more likely when favourable conditions are present, in agreement with previous studies. Non-implementation, on the other hand, is explained by a dichotomy between the unable ¬ and the unwilling. The lack of willingness exposes to failure even the fittest national system.


  • Energy Systems
  • Political Science
  • European Union
  • Transport biofuels
  • EU policy
  • Qualitative comparative analysis
  • Multi-level governance


  • BECC
  • Miljöpolitik-lup-obsolete
  • ISSN: 1350-1763

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