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Between synthesis and emulation: EU policy transfer in the power sector

Padgett, S.A. (2003) Between synthesis and emulation: EU policy transfer in the power sector. Journal of European Public Policy, 10. pp. 227-45. ISSN 1350-1763

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This article evaluates the institutional capacity of the EU for policy transfer. It identifies the variables shaping transfer processes and outcomes: the mode of decision employed; the veto-points at which the model may be thwarted or modified; and the institutionally embedded policy preferences against which the model is evaluated. Transfer outcomes are classified on a scale from mere influence, through synthesis, to emulation. The empirical part of the paper is based on research into the liberalization and re-regulation of the European electricity sector following a ' first mover' initiative on the part of the UK. Unanimity requirements, it is argued, opened up veto opportunities for member states to modify the UK model in accordance with domestic policy preferences. At the same time, EU feedback effects modified domestic preferences. Thus whilst transfer outcomes fell short of emulation, the result was more than merely a synthesis of national approaches.