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"Ecological modernization or regulatory convergence? Recent trends in the environmental policies of EU member states"

O’Neill, Kate. (1997) "Ecological modernization or regulatory convergence? Recent trends in the environmental policies of EU member states". In: UNSPECIFIED, Seattle, WA. (Unpublished)

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    For some time now, the European Union has been expanding its agenda with respect to its member states’ environmental policy. While in the early years of its existence, environmental degradation was low on most national and international policy agendas, it exploded onto the international scene in the early 1970s. Environmental problems, especially those of a trans-boundary nature, had been apparent in Europe for decades previously; the need to address these beyond the nation state level made the EC/EU a natural candidate for developing expertise in this field. These days, the focal point for discussions of EU environmental policy is the question of regulatory harmonization: to what extent it is happening (and of course in which direction), its desirability, and the implications for the broader EU question of the position of state sovereignty within a united Europe. This paper argues that the debate over regulatory harmonization, at least in the area of environmental policy, is unproductive. Instead, it advocates that more attention be paid to what has been broadly described as "ecological modernization" (Weale, 1992). This is a term that has been applied to the processes of environmental policy change currently on-going in at least three member states--Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands. Even though many have critiqued the term and its normative value and applicability to actual environmental policy processes, I try to show that on a practical level it has great utility not only for those who study European environmental integration, but also to those who practice.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > governance: EU & national level
    Countries > U.K.
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > regulations/regulatory policies
    Countries > Netherlands
    Countries > Germany
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > environmental policy (including international arena)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1997 (5th), May 29-June 1, 1997
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2007
    Page Range: p. 14
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:23

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