Barbagallo, Valentina (1996) European integration and environment: are we going towards a cleaner federal State? JMWP No. 02.96, December, 1996. [Working Paper]
The purpose of this paper is to find out the link existing among globalization, fragmentation and integration within the European Union, with special reference to the protection of environment. The basic assumption is that for the reason why environmental protection requires a strengthening of co-operation among member states, the EU represents an unique arena to analyse the way environmental problems are faced and (possibly) solved. At the same time, making use of the multi-level governance model, we aim at analysing the general process of integration affecting the Union, under the pressures coming both from globalization and fragmentation, showing how environmental protection has contributed to the process itself. The multi-level governance model, stating that "European integration is a polity creating process in which authority and policy-making influence are shared across multiple levels of government", perfectly suits with EU environmental policy since contacts between multiple levels of government are required, especially in the stage of implementation. The paper is made up of three main parts. In the first one a general insight on globalization, fragmentation and European integration is provided: the starting point is that the process of globalization affecting the planet and challenging the Nation-state as main actor of international politics needs to be taken into account when analysing the process of European integration. In the same way, pushes towards fragmentation are taken into account. The second part deals with multi-level governance and the way it explains the evolution of the European Union. In the third part a general view of the evolution of EU environmental policy is provided, lingering on the main instrument used by the Union to reach its environmental targets. The final part analyses the processes taking place within the EU and bringing to an effective environmental policy; focusing on the role played by the European Parliament and its Environmental Committee, in shaping EU environmental policy, the multi-level governance lens will be used to discuss the Union approach to environment. As stated in the title, there is a dominating question in the paper: are we going towards a cleaner federal state? Reading through the lines, it will be possible to perceive an inclination towards a federalist interpretation of the EU evolution, though the federalist process is not conceived as a compulsory target, but a "suggested" model chosen for its suitability with the multi-level structure that characterises the EU today.
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