The high voting threshold in the Council together with conflicting
national preferences should frustrate effective European
problem-solving. This famous prediction of the "joint-decision
trap" (JDT) is at odds with Europe's dynamic environmental policy.
Yet there is scarce research on the limited impact of the JDT in
this realm. We know little, therefore, about the conditions of
effective environmental policy-change in the EU. By comparing cases
of stability and change, including CO2-limits for passenger cars
and the phase-out of inscandescent lamps, the book examines the
ways in and out of the JDT in environmental policy. It shows how
both the highly politicized summit level and the bureaucratic
"comitology" facilitate change by acting as informal bypasses to
the Council. The book contributes to a better understanding of the
JDT. It speaks to the recent debate about Europe's "new
intergovernmentalism" and the reliance on "informal politics,"
especially in the wake of the Euro crisis.
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