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Apr 242013

Transworld Paper No.21

by Emanuela Orlando

In the course of the past four decades, since the adoption of the First Environmental Programme in 1973, EU environmental policy and legislation have expanded dramatically, and gradually become one of the main EU areas of intervention. While such expansion has not been always unproblematic, EU environmental policy represents one of the most interesting areas from the point of view of innovative legal tools and inclusive governance approaches, as well as one of the policy sectors where the process of “europeanisation” of national legislation is most apparent. The present paper illustrates the evolution of EU policy and legislation in the field of environmental protection from the early seventies until nowadays. It combines an examination of the historical evolution of EU environmental policy from an institutional and constitutional perspective with analysis of the key aspects and main trends of EU environmental governance and law-making. In this context, this contribution also highlights the EU approach to the multilayered dimension of environmental governance, both from the internal perspective of the dynamic relationship between EU and the member states, and in a global context.


Apr 082013

Transworld Paper No.17

by Kati Kulovesi and Marise Cremona

While the European Union (EU) seeks to play an active role in global environmental governance, its special nature as an international actor has important implications for its external environmental policies and its participation in international environmental cooperation. The Union may act only when there is a legal basis for such action in its founding Treaties. The Union’s external competence is therefore affected by the internal division of powers between the EU and its member states in a particular field. Under most multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), the Union participates alongside its member states, with complex implications for both EU and international law. The duty of loyal cooperation and the principle of unity of the Union’s international representation have important implications for the EU and its member states, requiring the formation of common positions in decision-making structures established by MEAs and limiting the scope of the member states’ independent international action. The issue of who speaks for the EU and its member states has also become a matter of contention. This sometimes difficult legal and political internal dynamic, while arising out of obligations of unity, can have negative consequences for the EU’s international environmental action.