Policy making


This chapter examines how the EU transforms political issues and demands into policy decisions. Due to its multi-faceted nature, European environmental policy making cannot be captured fully by any single theory. Instead, it is shaped by a combination of different processes, each of which may dominate at certain times and for particular issues. In intergovernmental policy making, decisions revolve around environmental leader and laggard states, with outcomes being determined by their respective bargaining power and the use of conflict management techniques. In supranational policy making, the European Parliament and the Commission each aim to raise the level of protection above the lowest common denominator of member state positions. Finally, ever more environmental policy decisions are adopted via a transnational process in which the Commission and expert officials are relatively loosely coupled to their domestic governments.

In Andrew Jordan and Viviane Gravey (Eds.) Environmental Policy in the EU. Actors, Institutions and Processes (168-202). Fourth Edition. London: Routledge

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