Multilevel energy regulation : a study of NVE’s connections and autonomy in a European context
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An evolving European executive order is changing the circumstances for national steering and administrative capacities. Increasingly compound and interconnected administrative structures that span across levels of governance provide an environment where domestic agencies might be serving multiple organizations or centres of authority simultaneously. Thus potentially challenging national control and accountability. This thesis has set out to map NVE’s potential participation in such multilevel administrative structures for energy regulation in Europe. By examining NVE’s connection and contact with its ministry department, the supranational organizations of the energy sector, and its participation in transnational energy networks. Theoretically, the thesis is based on two mutually complementing theoretical perspectives, multilevel administration and organization theory. Whilst MLA might explain how and to what extent NVE participates in a multilevel model of European energy regulation, certain organizational characteristics might explain why connections occurs and what might cause inherent variations. Another goal is to consider what consequences potential findings might entail. The methodology is based on qualitative interviews, supplemented with document analysis. Findings show that NVE is in active contact with especially its ministry department and its sister regulators in the Nordic and European countries. Contact with the latter takes place mainly through the transnational networks NordREG and CEER. Direct contact with the supranational organizations appears limited, mainly due to organizational circumstances. Some indirect contact might however be present, then through the transnational networks or the EU energy agency. Thus, the thesis adds to the existing literature that there to varying degrees exists close and direct links between Norwegian domestic agencies and the other organizations, often through sector-specific, transnational networks. Rather than being subject to compound steering from organizations across multiple levels of governance, it however seems as NVE actively works in connection with multiple actors for the purpose of harmonizing and streamlining the European power and energy market. Thus not necessarily serving several centres of authority at exceeding levels of governance, but rather being an active component in a compound, multilevel administrative model. Ultimately, when working on European energy regulation, NVE appears as a specialized, professional and relatively autonomous agency.
Masteroppgave offentlig politikk og ledelse- Universitetet i Agder, 2016