EU policy on the environment

Authored by: Jale Tosun

The Routledge Handbook of European Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138927339
eBook ISBN: 9781315682723
Adobe ISBN:


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Environmental policy represents one of the most dynamic areas of policy-making in the European Union (EU) and is a genuine success story given the significant improvements in environmental quality over the last few decades. The developments in terms of legislative outputs are reflected in a vast corpus of multi-disciplinary research dealing with how EU environmental policy is formulated, adopted, and implemented, as well as which outcomes can be observed and how environmental policy measures have diffused from the EU to other world regions. Environmental policy has served as the ‘experimentation ground’ for the elaboration of some of the most influential theories and concepts in European public policy. The Europeanization concept is closely associated with the study of EU environmental policy (e.g., Knill and Lehmkuhl 1999; Montpetit 2000) as much as theories of regulatory competition in the common market (e.g., Héritier et al. 1996). The wealth of concepts, theoretical arguments, and empirical insights provided by research on EU environmental policy indicates how successful this research agenda has been. At the same time, however, it takes some courage to attempt to offer a concise overview of this body of research given its impressive scope. In the following sections, only certain dimensions of this vibrant research area can be highlighted.

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