Environmental Policy: A Leader State under Pressure?

Rüdiger K. W. Wurzel

in Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262955
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734465 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Environmental Policy: A Leader State under Pressure?

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses the impact of European integration on German environmental policy. For much of the 1980s, Germany acted as an ‘environmental leader’ state, successfully exporting to the EU level some of its standards, instruments, and regulatory approaches. In consequence, the Europeanization process was largely taken for granted by most domestic environmental policy actors. Overall, the Europeanization of the German environmental policy system has been an incremental and relatively subtle process that began in the 1970s, although its full implications did not become apparent until the 1980s. In the 1990s, Germany lost much of its ‘environmental leader’ status and came under pressure from the EU to reform its environmental policy system. At the beginning of the 21st century, Germany remains an ‘environmental leader’ state that pushes for stringent EU environment policy measures on air pollution control issues in particular. However, it has taken on a defensive position with regard to the EU's recent procedural measures, which have caused considerable domestic adaptational pressures. Overall, the Europeanization process has had a highly variegated effect on German environmental policy. Deeply engrained institutional structures and regulatory styles have been affected to a lesser extent than the substantive policy content.

Keywords: German environmental policy; Europeanization; air pollution control

Chapter.  8564 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.