Legal assessment of DYNAMIX policy mixes

Citation: Lucha, C., Roberts, E. (2015). Legal assessment of DYNAMIX policy mixes, DYNAMIX project deliverable 5.4.1. Report on governance assessment: Legal assessment; Berlin, Germany: Ecologic Institute

This report aims to provide a first estimate of the legal feasibility and implementability of the selected instruments of the DYNAMIX policy mixes based on the status quo of the international and European legal provisions with a focus on competition and trade law as these provisions are obstacles potentially interfering with or counteracting the policy mix set-up for achieving decoupling. This is followed by suggestions for possible adjustments in the formulation and design of the instruments as well as the policy mixes.

It has to be taken into account, however, that on the one hand ex-ante legal assessments of policy mixes face difficulties mainly due to open questions regarding the exact design of the instruments. Additionally, summarising results of assessments of individual instruments is uncommon in legal practice and leads to generalisations that could distort the image when it comes to the individual instruments. On the other hand, the law system, especially the material law, is subject to constant changes and adaptations on the basis of the political guidelines as well as court decisions. Therefore, depending on the importance of an instrument for the achievement of the overall objective of absolute decoupling, it is advisable to adhere to this instrument even if it might be incompatible with current legislation.