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ECPR 50th Anniversary Fund

Implementing EU Environmental Policy in Greece in Times of Crisis, 2008ꟷ2014: Lessons from Cooperative Federalism

Environmental Policy
European Union
Policy Implementation
Southern Europe
Michail Melidis
University of Exeter
Michail Melidis
University of Exeter

The analysis of Greece's environmental policy performance during the recent economic crisis demonstrates that significant challenges and problems still remain. The investigation of the policy outputs and outcomes coupled with an array of specific endogenous factors shows why Greece’s capacity to comply with EU legislation, implement correctly and meet policy targets is deemed weak. The characterization of a traditional ‘laggard’ (Greece) is largely confirmed by the empirical data and vividly reflects the actual domestic implementation dynamics in a volatile environment. The novelty of this paper lies in the theorization of the so-called ‘leader-laggard’ dynamic in light of federalism. First, it seeks to provide a contemporary analysis and explanations on the implementation patterns under the cooperative federalism. Second, it aims to probe more systematically the distribution of power, task allocation, and the ‘downloading’ of environmental policies in systems of multi-level governance such as the EU.
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