Implementation Process Variation of EU ETS in Slovenia and Croatia: A Case Study

Julia Solar

Student thesis: Master thesis


With rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere globally and the scientific indications of climate change, the global community called for a universal response to rising temperatures and gas emissions. The EU as an international player was at the forefront of this combat. To confront the challenge of rising greenhouse gas levels and to reach the targets of the Kyoto Protocol, the EU pledged to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels and launched an Emissions Trading Scheme in 2005. First and second phase of the EU ETS are over, and the third phase running from 2013 will end in 2020.For the purpose of the third phase EU ETS, the EU Community adopted a revised Directive2009/29/EC on the operating of the ETS and an Effort Sharing Decision covering emissions from the sectors not covered by the ETS. The adoption of both legislation opened up new questions with regard to implementation within national contexts. Firstly, this thesis explores the extent of sovereignty member states in the EU have in the area of EU ETS and ESD with relation to implementation, answering the question: “to what extent have member states ceded sovereignty in the area of environmental policy at the EU level, in the case of revised ETS and ESD?” Moreover, after establishing the legal aspects of the ETS and ESD with regard to member state sovereignty in the implementation process, the thesis analyses the variation in implementation of the two legal documents in the similar country context of Slovenia and Croatia. This is done by answering the second research question: ”which factors account for variation in implementation of EU public policy between Slovenia and Croatia in the case of phase 3 of EU ETS?” This is based on descriptive statistics of the emission related data and document analysis of both legislation, governmental and EU reports on the topic. To this, the developed theoretical framework is applied. In the analysis, it was found that similar country context implements EU environmental legislation in the similar manner. However, key variation was visible in the area of preferences of political actors responsible for the implementation as well as within the distribution of funds authorised for specific areas of environmental protection as a share of GDP and the over all ambition with regards to emission reduction policies. On this basis, it can be stated that variation in implementation of revised EU ETS and ESD in Slovenia and Croatia is low.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages67
SupervisorsMads Dagnis Jensen