Chapter

Environmental Policy: EU Actors, Leader and Laggard States

Rüdiger K. W. Wurzel

in Leaderless Europe

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780199535026
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191715860 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199535026.003.0005
Environmental Policy: EU Actors, Leader and Laggard States

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Starting from internal market harmonization regulations and with the European Court of Justice's broad interpretation of the Rome Treaty, a common environmental policy have emerged with leader and laggard governments and businesses pulling in opposite directions. Even before the 1987 replacement of unanimity by qualified majority voting, progress was made on product if not process standards. Five phases are distinguished in this chapter: infant (1958-72), adolescent (1972-87), mature (1987-92), sedate (1992-2005), and selective activism (since 2005). Climate change emerged as a priority policy issue and the EC Commission was active in rescuing the Kyoto protocol. Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands were the initial environmental leader states, followed by Sweden, Finland, and Austria. The Commission, Environmental Council of Ministers, the European Council, and European Parliament have all been active on climate change as policy entrepreneurs.

Keywords: harmonization; Commission; leader; laggard; Environmental Council; European Council; climate change; Kyoto protocol

Chapter.  9043 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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