In recent decades, the European Union has developed one of the world’s most stringent sets of environmental policies. These policies cover not only the traditional areas of environmental concern, such as fighting pollution and protecting natural resources, but also increasingly salient issues like GMOs and climate change, which affect day-to-day patterns of production and consumption. As with all areas of policy making within the EU, the creation of environmental policy relies on the co-operation of many political actors – EU institutions, national authorities and interest groups – all with widely differing agendas. Studying how the dynamics between these political actors result in specific environmental policies reveals much about the wider dynamics at play in the EU as a whole.
This important new text analyses the European Union’s environmental policy, tracing how it has evolved to become today one of its largest fields of action. Using state-of-the-art analysis, it discusses in depth the relationship between policies and the political processes that shape them, and looks at how environmental policies are increasingly having a major impact on other policy fields, including energy, agriculture and transport. This book considers in detail the EU’s policies in both traditional and ‘new’ environmental subdomains, including coverage of recent developments in terms of their content, approach and effectiveness. Throughout this clear and readable introduction to EU environmental policy, the authors emphasize the interdependence between what happens in the EU and at the global level. By establishing EU policies within the wider international context, they pay particular attention to the EU’s role in global environmental governance, especially in relation to climate change.
‘As EU environmental policy has matured institutionally and in terms of providing a dense regulatory framework for public and private actors. This book offers a badly needed scholarly update on EU environmental politics and policy – just in time for its 30th formal ‘birthday’ in 2016. In linking a thorough and reflective analysis of internal governance issues and developments to the important question of policy outcome and in successfully situating EU policy in its international context, thus escaping an unduly Eurocentric perspective, the authors address two challenges of EU environmental policy analysis in an outstanding manner.’ — Andrea Lenschow, University of Osnabrück, Germany
‘The European Union (EU) has arguably established the most intricate and mature bodies of environmental policy of any supranational organisation. From climate change to chemicals and biodiversity to biofuels, it is frankly impossible to understand fully the processes of environmental problem solving anywhere in the world today without taking the EU’s policies into account. This impressive new book clearly and concisely explains their genesis and the impacts they generate at internal, national and sub-national levels of governance. A must read for specialists and students alike.’ — Andrew Jordan, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UK
‘The authors present a concise, informative overview of environmental policy and politics in the European Union with special focus on the cases of genetically modified organisms and climate change, two areas where EU policy approaches have attracted global attention. The book places EU developments in historical and international context; introduces the reader to the main actors, institutions, and policy making processes; and explains the increasing diversity of policy instruments used to address pollution and nature conservation. It will be very useful for the classroom and those seeking a general introduction to EU environmental policy.’ — Miranda Schreurs, Free University of Berlin, Germany
1. The Evolution of EU Environmental Policy [download]
2. The Global Context
3. Actors and Institutions
5. Lobbying and Interest Representation
6. Environmental Policy Instruments
7. Traditional Sectors of Environmental Policy
8. GMO Policy
9. Climate Change Policy
10. The EU in International Environmental Politics
For more information, visit the Palgrave website.