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Policy-making, implementation and patterns of multi-level governance

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.

agencies at different institutional levels 146 Environmental politics in the European Union and various societal interest groups and policy addressees), all trying to influence the execution according to their interests. The general finding that shifts in policy objectives and deviations from the original political intentions are frequently observed during the implementation stage can be expected to be of particular relevance when it comes to the implementation of EU policies. This arises primarily from the fact that in executing EU measures a vast number of actors at

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brief conclusion. General principles The environmental policy of the EU is oriented towards an array of different principles and guidelines. These form, in turn, the basis for policy programmes such as the environmental action programmes as well as for individual policy measures. Following Weale et al. (2000, 62) these principles can be analytically divided 28 Environmental politics in the European Union into four different categories (see Table 2.1).1 These categories will be discussed in detail on the following pages. Table 2.1 Principles of European

in Environmental politics in the European Union

repercussions for environmental policymaking in the EU. The EU Commission The Commission plays a crucial role in the institutional system of the EU. This is due to the diverse powers of the Commission which range from agenda-setting to monitoring functions on to executive tasks. For the phase of environmental policy formulation, which we 58 Environmental politics in the European Union are interested in here, the agenda-setting tasks are of great significance, as they entail the planning and elaboration of proposals for Council decisions. Only the Commission has the right

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The establishment of environmental policy as a European policy domain

Economic Community (EEC). Apart from the fact that environ- 2 Environmental politics in the European Union mental problems were not yet a politically significant topic at this point in time, the founding fathers of the EU were primarily concerned with economic integration. Thus the groundwork of the Treaty did not grant the European institutions any authority to act or any responsibilities with respect to environmental policy. Due to these unfavourable starting conditions, the continuously increasing environmental activities of the EU, which we have witnessed since

in Environmental politics in the European Union

the bottom’, in which 104 Environmental politics in the European Union regulatory standards are continually relaxed or even abolished? Or is it possible that the exact opposite trend sets in – that the dynamics of market integration cause the member states to collectively elevate their national standards (‘race to the top’) (Holzinger 2002, 62–3)? In empirical studies in the area of international and European environmental policy we find evidence of both scenarios (Vogel 1995, 1997; Zürn 1997; Jänicke 1998; Kern 2000). This calls into question the conditions

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Abstract only
The environmental problem-solving capacity of the EU

. It takes all directives, regulations and decisions into account, regardless of Environmental politics in the European Union Number of enviromental policy acts 198 Figure 10.1 Number of environmental policy directives, regulations and decisions passed annually Source: Haigh 2000, 2.1–4. their importance and including changes to existing legislation as well as legislation which was later replaced by other measures. According to this all-inclusive count, more than 700 environmental policy measures had been passed by the EU by the year 2000. If we restrict

in Environmental politics in the European Union

Environmental politics in the European Union through the European legislative process. As for decision-making in particular, we will see 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. Problem definition and agenda-setting Environmental measures in the EU do not come from a vacuum. Instead, they should be regarded as reactions to problems which have been perceived by actors in different ways, defined accordingly and viewed as sufficiently politically relevant

in Environmental politics in the European Union
Three case studies

free access to environmentally 122 Environmental politics in the European Union relevant information, and the establishment of a system for emissions trading in the context of climate policy. Most of this chapter will be devoted to the description and analysis of the three individual cases. The final section will compare them and present some general conclusions. The introduction of cars with catalytic converters: the European Parliament demonstrates its power The introduction of cars with catalytic converters and the adoption of the so-called Small Cars Directive

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‘New’ environmental policy instruments as a panacea?

the national, regional or local levels. Thereby, the Fifth Action Programme stands in contrast to the orientation emphasized in the Third Action Programme, in accord with which environmental policy problems were to be primarily surmounted with uniform measures leaving little room for the accommodation of nationally varying conditions (Johnson and Corcelle 1989, 17; Knill and Lenschow 2000b, 4). A third characteristic of the governance change implied by the 164 Environmental politics in the European Union Fifth Action Programme is the development of ‘new

in Environmental politics in the European Union