The environmental governance team covers strategic questions and examines the mechanics and processes behind the formulation and implementation of environmental policies. Our work is spread across a wide, often cross-cutting, range of issues.
Key tasks include monitoring current developments in EU environmental policy, including the role of the budget, assessing environmental policy integration and policy coherence, conducting impact assessment and policy evaluation studies, evaluating policy implementation and enforcement, and looking at the global dimension of European environmental policy.
At its founding in 1957, the then European Economic Community (EEC) did not have an environmental dimension. Today the EU has some of the most progressive environmental policies in the world. EU legislation has played a vital role in improving habitat and species protection and river management, and has contributed to dramatic improvements in air and water quality and waste management. Although significant challenges remain, it is widely acknowledged that EU policy has successfully reduced a number of pressures on the environment and stimulated investment in more sustainable economic growth.
The EU has developed a ‘tool box’ of policy instruments, approaches and strategies with which to pursue its environmental objectives. It has also adopted a number of cross-cutting strategies and approaches to policy making to provide the overarching context for environmental decision-making. These are seen to be increasingly significant to the environmental debate in Europe.
Over the years the EU has taken on a growing leadership role in the global context.
Juncker’s State of the European Union speech sets an ambitious path for a stronger Europe, and while his ambition for climate leadership is welcome, he was mostly silent about wider environmental sustainability.
IEEP held a one-day conference in Brussels on 5 October 2017 to present the findings of a major study for the European Commission on the use of market-based instruments to address pollution and resource use.
2017 is an important year for discussing the future of Europe. A key basis for this debate is the White Paper of the European Commission alongside subsequent reflection pieces regarding specific dimensions of European policy, including the social dimension of Europe, globalization, the Economic and Monetary Union, European defense and European finances.
With the Brexit process being formally started, it is time to consider the importance that sharing experience has for the development of concepts and principles in environmental policy says Nigel Haigh, former director of IEEP. Read more in his article here.
In a study for the European Parliament’s REGI Committee, IEEP examined the experience of climate mainstreaming in Cohesion Policy in the current and previous programming periods and identified the implications of the Paris Agreement in order to offer recommendations for future climate mainstreaming in the post-2020 Cohesion Policy.
In the immediate aftermath of President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris agreement, the sixth largest economy of the world, California, signed an agreement with China to fight climate change. While non-binding, such cooperation represents a “trickle-up” approach to global climate change governance and is part of a wave of initiatives from non-state actors including civil society, the private sector and local authorities.
Europeans face health and social challenges that merit urgent attention – obesity, mental health problems, social exclusion, air and noise pollution, and heat stress in cities. Our work is helping to address these issues, particularly those affecting socio-economically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.