This book provides a comprehensive introduction into the making, development and implementation of European Union (EU) environmental politics. The environmental policy of the EU has made impressive progress during the last three decades. Starting off as little more than a by-product of economic integration, it has developed into a central area of EU policy making. The book explores the driving forces behind this development, identifying the central areas and instruments of EU environmental policy, and analyses the factors influencing not only the formulation, but also the implementation, of environmental measures in the complex multi-level setting of the EU. On this basis, it takes a critical look at the EU's effectiveness and problem-solving capacity in the environmental field, employing an analytical perspective based on the theoretical state of the art of EU policy studies. Thus, the book provides an overview of the major theoretical approaches available in the field. At the same time, the discussion is illustrated by a broad range of empirical findings with regard to the formulation and implementation of EU environmental policy.
This chapter presents three case studies illustrating the implementation of environmental policy in European Union member states, which include the introduction of catalytic converters in cars, free access to environmentally relevant information and the establishment of a system for emissions trading in the context of climate policy. It describes and compares these three cases, also suggesting that member states generally seek to implement European measures in such ways that their economic and institutional impact is minimised.
This chapter analyses the general institutional and procedural conditions involved in the design of European environmental policies, and describes the main actors and institutions active in the formulation of the European Union (EU) environmental policy, focusing on the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Atomic Agency. It identifies private actors who exerted influence on the formation of European environmental policies and looks at the role of the EU in international environmental institutions.
This chapter analyses the general interest constellations and interaction patterns involved in the formulation of European Union (EU) environmental policy. There are two different forms of regulatory competition between the member states that are of particular significance. The first form pertains to the national reactions to international or European competition for mobile production factors and mobile sources for tax revenue, while the second pertains to the active efforts of the member states at the European level to influence the content and form of environmental policy regulations according to their interests. The chapter suggests that the interplay between national and European influences makes it clear that EU environmental policy is a form of multi-level governance.
The environmental problem-solving capacity of the EU
Christoph Knill and Duncan Liefferink
This chapter evaluates the capability of the European Union (EU) in actually solving environmental protection problems, and applies four different assessment criteria that address the question of that EU's problem-solving capacity from different perspectives and on the basis of different demands. These are decision-making capacity, the quality of the decisions made in terms of substance, the effectiveness of the implementation of these programmes at the national level and actual effects of policy measures in terms of improving the state of the environment in the Union. The chapter suggests that the labyrinthic decision-making structure of the EU, the various interests competing for influence in Brussels and the high degree of diversity between the member states in many dimensions all contribute to the problems in the formulation and implementation of EU environmental policy.
‘New’ environmental policy instruments as a panacea?
Christoph Knill and Duncan Liefferink
This chapter focuses on the so-called ‘new’ instruments designed to improve implementation effectiveness of European Union (EU) environmental policies, discussing the characteristics and effects of the new environmental policy instruments and their limited implementation success. It also looks at the factors which can account for the fact that neither the type of countries nor the type of policy instruments seems to have a clear impact on the implementation effectiveness of EU policies.
This chapter evaluates the effectiveness of the implementation of European Union (EU) environmental policy. It presents the institutional framework in which the implementation of European policies takes place. The chapter discusses some broad trends related to the actual degree of implementation problems and the extent to which these problems are actually politicised. There is evidence that implementation deficits in the environmental field are more pronounced than in other policy fields of the EU, and that the implementation effectiveness across member states does not fully correspond with the observed patterns of ‘leaders’ and ‘laggards’ during the stage of policy formulation.
This chapter examines the implementation effectiveness of the environmental policies of the European Union (EU) in Great Britain, France, Germany and Spain, introducing the selected policies and the institutional implications emerging from their implementation in these countries. It describes the extent to which the policies have been implemented effectively (or not) in the countries under investigation and explains the observed implementation patterns on the basis of theoretical considerations. The analysis reveals that improvements in the implementation effectiveness of EU environmental policy require a highly differentiated approach to policy making, which takes into account not only the institutional compatibility of European and domestic arrangements, but also the constellation of domestic actors and interests.
This chapter sums up the key findings of this study on the formulation and implementation of European Union (EU) environmental policies. The result reveals a steady broadening of the issues covered by EU environmental policy along with a continuous adjustment of the policy instruments used and the underlying regulatory approaches. The findings also indicate that implementation patterns, which include the regulatory competition between the member states and the problems of national adaptation to European requirements in the implementation phase, are linked to the multi-level character of the EU. The chapter also argues that environmental policy is closely linked to the regulation of the Internal Market and the integration process.
This chapter examines the characteristic processes and decision-making procedures involved in the development and design of European Union environmental policies, discussing the informal patterns of interaction and the relationships between the involved actors and institutions. The analysis of the decision-making process reveals that the respective means of influence of the participating actors and institutions can vary considerably depending on the procedural rules on which they are based. The chapter also explains the different phases of European policy making, which include the problem-definition and agenda-setting phase, the elaboration of policy proposals at the level of the Commission and the phase of decision making through the European legislative process.