National Forest Programmes in a European Context : Findings from COST Action E19
Karl Hogl ,
Institute of Forest Sector Policy and Economics, University of Agricultural Sciences, Gregor Mendel Strasse 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
Received 25 February 2002. Revised 22 July 2002. Accepted 25 July 2002. Available online 30 October 2002.
The concept of National Forest Programmes (NFP) calls for the integration of multiple levels of government as well as the integration of private actors into the programming, implementation and evaluation of measures to promote sustainable forest management. But systems of multi-level policy co-ordination are threatened by overload and deadlock owing to the large numbers of levels, arenas and actors involved. This paper examines the mechanisms that may cause these problems and aims at identifying some potential escape routes from imminent deadlock. In order to achieve this, I discuss the problem-solving capacity and limits of different modes of multi-level co-ordination against the background of NFPs. After problem description, the aim is to learn from real world policy processes how policy makers handle problems of multi-level co-ordination, and how they can evade dangers of overload and deadlock. The examples are taken from European social and employment policy and from regional development policy. They show that specific patterns of arranging policy arenas and negotiations can provide viable solutions. The proposals range from governance by hierarchy to structures of more or less autonomous arenas that are loosely coupled by policy brokers. Beyond that, I argue that two EU regulations already embody the core of our current understanding of NFPs, namely the Regulation on the Support of Rural Development in combination with the Structural Funds Regulations.
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