The European Council

By its very nature, the European Council has always been the one EU institution least involved in the detail of policy, and the one most given to grand statements of intent and 'solemn' declarations. Nonetheless, many of those statements have come at critical junctures in the evolution of policy, and have both clarified the goals of - and given new direction to the work of - the other institutions. While the Council has been most active in the fields of agriculture, the budget, the single...

Initiation the European Commission

The development of proposals for new EU laws and policies begins within the European Commission. Its most significant power lies in its monopoly on the proposal and drafting of new laws, but it also has a pivotal position as a broker of interests and a forum for the exchange of policy ideas (Mazey and Richardson, 1997), and as a mediator among the member states and the different EU institutions. Proposals are sent to other institutions and interested parties for discussion and amendment, and...

Chemicals the policy response

The complexity of the issue of chemicals in the environment has undermined attempts either by EU institutions or by the governments of the member states to approach it in anything more than a rather piecemeal fashion. Changes in domestic policy in Sweden and Britain in the late 1990s not only highlighted the somewhat ad hoc nature of EU policy, but also coincided with increasing demands from several member states for a more proactive approach aimed at phasing out the use of hazardous chemicals....

Geneticallymodified organisms

The late 1990s saw the emergence of a public debate about the use of genetically-modified organisms and micro-organisms (GMOs). Most of the debate centered on concerns about the effects of genetic engineering on human health, but as public concerns grew, so more reference was made to the effects of GMOs on biodiversity. Whether or not it was an environmental issue, most of the EU's initiatives on the matter - which date back to 1990 - came out of DGXI, which by 1997 found itself in the middle...

Chemicals and Waste

Particularly in industrialized countries, many of the most pressing environmental problems are ultimately chemical in nature air and water pollution, toxic and hazardous wastes, pesticides and herbicides, chemicals in food and ecosystems, and so on. Just as such problems have been the focus of much of the environmental policy activity of national governments, so they have been high on the EU environmental agenda. If all the laws adopted by the EU on air pollution, water pollution and the...

Phase IV consolidation

In many respects, the environmental policy of the EU has begun to come of age since 1993, helped by a combination of a change of leadership in the Commission, changes in the membership of the EU and the need to prepare for eastward expansion. Furthermore, progress on the completion of the single market has combined with the controversies over Maastricht and the single currency to encourage the EU to shift to a focus on 'soft issues' with which European voters can identify. The Economist was...

What is environmental policy

The institutions of the European Union have an odd notion of the meaning of the word 'environment'. Take, for example, the way in which responsibilities have been divided up among the directorates-general of the European Commission while the Environment DG (EDG) is responsible for most of the issues conventionally defined by national policymakers as 'environmental' (such as air and water pollution, and waste management), fisheries conservation is part of the remit of the Fisheries DG, forestry...

Chemicals the problem

Chemicals have been central to the development of industry and modern agriculture, and have made vital contributions to the efficiency of manufacturing, the productivity of farming, and the health and convenience of consumers. The vast majority of these chemicals are harmless to humans and the environment if used in the correct quantities, combinations and circumstances, and they have substantially improved the quality of life for most people. However, a growing minority are either toxic -...

Air quality the policy response

The Community response to air quality problems began in the 1970s, but it was piecemeal, was prompted more by concerns about avoiding trade distortions than about protecting human health or the environment, and has always tended to lag behind the response to water quality problems. Although the first pieces of law on vehicle emissions (70 220 and 72 306) predate the first pieces of law on water quality (two directives on detergents in 1973), the body of laws on water quality built steadily...

List of Abbreviations

ACE Actions by the Community Relating to the ACEA European Automobile Manufacturer's Association ACNAT Actions by the Community for Nature ACP Africa, Caribbean, Pacific countries ALTENER Programme for the Promotion of Renewable Energy Sources in the Community BAT best available technology techniques BATNEEC best available technology not entailing excessive cost CEECs Central and Eastern European Countries CEGB Central Electricity Generating Board (UK) CFP Common Fisheries Policy CITES...

Water quality the policy response

Water pollution control is one of the oldest and most completely developed sectors of EU environmental policy. Its evolution can be roughly divided into three phases. The first came in the 1970s, was motivated more by concerns about human health than about environmental protection, and focused on setting water quality objectives (WQOs) which defined the minimum quality requirements needed to limit the cumulative effect of pollution, and to ensure no damage to human health (and later to the...

Arguments and organization of the book

The chapters that follow are based around four fundamental arguments about the nature of EU environmental policy. These are as follows The European Union does not have an environmental policy. Instead, it has a series of policies relating to specific environmental issues such as air and water quality, waste manage ment, chemicals and so on, some of which are better developed than others. A recent tendency by the Commission to develop strategies, framework directives and programmes rather than...

The role of theory

Attempts to theorize the process of European integration and to develop explanatory models for the European policy process are handicapped by the unprecedented nature of the European Union as an institution or process, and by its constantly changing character. Multiple terms have been used in an attempt to pin down its identity - from de Gaulle's 'concert of states' to Thatcher's 'family of nations' - and scholars have variously labelled it a proto-federation, an organization with supranational...

Implementation the Commission and the member states

If measured by the production of new laws, policies, white papers, green papers and action plans on the environment, there is no question that the EU institutions have been fertile parents. However, productivity means little unless policy intent is translated into practical action, and unless EU law is transposed into - or implemented at the level of - national regulatory systems. Here the record has been much less impressive. Responsibility for implementation rests with the member states,...

Air and Water Quality

The control of pollution has been at the heart of one of the oldest and most complete programmes of EU environmental law and policy. Since the first law on air pollution was adopted in 1970, and the first on water pollution in 1973, the EU has built an extensive body of law dealing with emissions into the air from road vehicles, fossil fuels and industrial plants, and with the protection of freshwater, marine water, surface water and groundwater. It began to take a more broad-ranging and...

Phase III the EU establishes legal competence

Lacking either a legal basis or any truly structured sense of direction, the Commission approach to environmental issues until the mid-1980s was piecemeal and reactive, with a tendency to address problems on an ad hoc basis that depended largely on a combination of opportunism and the personal preferences of DGXI officials or incumbent environment Commissioners. The turning point came in 1987 when environmental protection was finally recognized as part of the legal competence of the Community...

Trade in dangerous chemicals

In the late 1980s, the Commission turned its attention to the export and import of dangerous chemicals. It began with the issue of restricting exports of chemicals already banned or restricted within the Community, many of which were still being manufactured and sold mainly to developing countries Johnson and Corcelle, 1995, p. 255 . Regulation 1734 88 set up a common notification system for the export of 21 chemicals, including mercury, PCBs, PCTs and DDT. In 1989, eight chemicals used in the...

Improving the quality of implementation

The implementation of environmental law was low down the list of priorities for the Commission in the 1970s and early 1980s, because it was too busy developing policies and building a body of law. It was only after the Seveso incident 1983-84 that the focus began to change. The committee of inquiry set up by the European Parliament censured the Commission for having failed to perform fully and properly its role of guardian of the Treaties . . . and for its failure to take the necessary measures...

Http Php.iupui.edu Jmccormi Enviropolicy.htm

When most Europeans think about the European Union, the kinds of issues that come most readily to mind include the single market, agricultural policy, the euro, controversies involving the European Commission, and - more recently - attempts to build a common European foreign and security policy. These are the matters most often covered by European media, which devote much less time and space to the other policy areas affected by integration, such as transport, regional policy, development,...

Air quality the problem

Air pollution is almost exclusively the result of the burning of fossil fuels, particularly the coal used in many power stations, and the fuel used in road vehicles. As population has increased, so has the demand for energy, the number of vehicles on European roads, and the size of towns and cities. The result has been a reduction in air quality such that - to varying degrees - air pollution afflicts every city in the EU, and occasionally major towns and rural areas downwind from urban centres....

Climate change the policy response

The theory of the greenhouse effect has been understood since the 1890s, but it has only been since the mid-1980s that it has become a significant international policy concern for more details, see J ger and O'Riordan, 1996 . Records of atmospheric concentrations of CO2 began to be kept in the United States in 1958, and by the late 1970s it had become clear that levels were rising. At the same time, research suggested that CO2 was not the only culprit, but that methane, nitrous oxide and CFCs...

Phase I focus on the common market

The three European Communities began life as experiments in economic integration, with relatively narrow and specific objectives. The work of the six founding member states was mainly quantitative in the sense that European integration was driven primarily by a desire to promote economic cooperation and development. While 'an accelerated standard of living' was one of the fundamental goals of the Treaty of Rome, priority was given during the 1960s to the development of a common market, common...

The handling of chemicals

Directive 67 548 on the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous chemicals is often - but wrongly - described as the first piece of Community law on the environment. Strictly speaking, that honour belongs to directive 59 221 on ionizing radiation, which preceded the 1967 law by eight years. In its original form, directive 67 548 was not an 'environmental' law at all, but was instead an attempt to harmonize legislation on products which happened to have implications for the welfare...

Bibliography

Arp, Henning 1992 'The European Parliament in European Community Environmental Policy', Working paper EPU 92 13 Florence European University Institute . 1993 'Technical Regulation and Politics The Interplay between Economic Interests and Environmental Policy Goals in EC Car Emission Legislation', in J. D. Liefferink, P. D. Lowe and A. P. J. Mol eds , European Integration and Environmental Policy London Belhaven Press . Baldwin, Robert 1995 Rules and Government Oxford Clarendon Press . Barrett,...

Environmental Policy in the European Union

General Editors Neill Nugent, William E. Paterson, Vincent Wright The European Union series is designed to provide an authoritative library on the European Union, ranging from general introductory texts to definitive assessments of key institutions and actors, policies and policy processes, and the role of member states. Books in the series are written by leading scholars in their fields and reflect the most up-to-date research and debate. Particular attention is paid to accessibility and clear...