In her dissertation ‘Competence Allocation and Regulatory Functioning: A Study of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme’, Josephine van Zeben (1984) develops a theoretical framework, which focuses on the distinct roles played by norm setting, implementation, and enforcement within the regulatory process. This distinction allows us to answer questions of competence allocation – e.g. which level of governance is best suited to fulfill a certain regulatory role, given a number of pre-determined criteria – with greater precision.
This theoretical framework is used to evaluate the functioning of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The EU ETS is an instrumental part of the European Union’s aim to mitigate climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The dissertation analyzes how the allocation of competences in the three trading phases of the EU ETS has influenced its performance. It concludes by setting out the political economy of the EU ETS and how this may explain the competence allocation decisions made.