Time Horizons in International Environmental Policy

The European Union's ambition on environmental issues have proven to be highly uneven. While it has agreed on stringent binding sustainability objectives in its reforms of the Common Fisheries Policy in 2013, it failed to reach such agreement on its 2030 climate change objectives, for instance. How can we make sense of this uneven performance of the European Union (EU) in environmental policy? The project explores to what extent policy entrepreneurship by Commissioners, the influence of non-governmental actors, and the use of effective narratives by governmental and non-governmental actors can help us understand the differences in the EU's environmental ambition. Conducting a contents analysis of relevant policy documents and expert interviews, the project traces developments in the EU's post-Copenhagen climate governance and the 2013/2014 Fisheries reform.


Project Leader

Doris Fuchs, Prof. Ph.D.
E-Mail: sustainability[at]uni-muenster[dot]de

Research Fellow

Stephan Engelkamp
E-Mail: stephan[dot]engelkamp[at]gmx.de

Research period

October 2012 – November 2015

Current research and publication activities

Fuchs, Doris. 2017. „Windows of Opportunity for Whom? Commissioners, Access, and the Balance of Interest in European Environmental Governance“. social sciences 6, 73, doi: 10.3390/socsci6030073.

Fuchs, Doris und Berenike Feldhoff. 2016. „Passing the Scepter, not the Buck. Long Arms in EU Climate Politics”. Journal of Sustainable Development 9(6): 58-74. doi: 10.5539/jsd.v9n6p58.

Fuchs, Doris und Antonia Graf. 2017. „Lokale Innovationsimpulse in der Mehr-Ebenen-Governance“. In Fuchs, Gerhard (Hrsg.). Lokale Impulse für Energieinnovationen. Wiesbaden: Springer, 145-160.

Engelkamp, Stephan und Doris Fuchs. 2017. Political Contestation and the Reform of European Fisheries Policy. Diskussionspapier 01/2017 des Zentrums für Interdisziplinäre Nachhaltigkeitsforschung (ZIN) der WWU.

Engelkamp, Stephan und Doris Fuchs. 2016. Performing ‚Green Europe‘? A Narrative Analysis of European Fisheries Policy. Münster: Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität. Sustainable Governance Discussion Paper 01/2016.

Further links

Information on European Fishing Policy
Information on European Climate Policy