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Advocacy coalitions and paths to policy change for promoting energy efficiency in European industry.

von Malmborg, Fredrik; Strachan, Peter A.


Fredrik von Malmborg


This paper applied the advocacy coalition framework to explore and explain the political processes creating policies to enhance energy efficiency of European Union (EU) industry. The paper used legislation on energy audits and energy management systems as a proxy for EU policy on energy efficiency in industry. Based on qualitative text analysis of EU policy documents, including a proposal to recast the energy efficiency directive, amendments to the proposal suggested by Member States, the Council and the European Parliament, and reports from negotiations, the paper identified four advocacy coalitions with different core beliefs, spanning from those that want few companies to implement energy audits or energy management systems, and that recommendations from audits should not be mandatory to implement, to those that advocate that many companies implement energy audits and management systems and that it should be mandatory to implement measures recommended in audits. It was further found that policy change followed an external shock, deliberative negotiations, and policy-oriented learning. The identification of core beliefs and advocacy coalitions will help policymakers and other stakeholders become more aware of their own and others' values on energy efficiency and how these could be changed. As important was the differentiation of deep core beliefs, policy core beliefs and secondary beliefs. Which beliefs can be easily changed, which cannot?


VON MALMBORG, F. and STRACHAN, P.A. 2023. Advocacy coalitions and paths to policy change for promoting energy efficiency in European industry. Energies [online], 16(9), article 3785. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 26, 2023
Online Publication Date Apr 28, 2023
Publication Date May 1, 2023
Deposit Date Apr 28, 2023
Publicly Available Date Apr 28, 2023
Journal Energies
Electronic ISSN 1996-1073
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 9
Article Number 3785
Keywords Advocacy coalition framework; Energy audits; Energy efficiency; Energy management systems; Industry; process tracing; Policy change; Policy process
Public URL


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