Environmental policy integration (EPI) is the process of placing environmental considerations at the heart of decision-making in other sectoral policies, such as energy and agriculture, rather than leaving them to be pursued separately through purely environmental policy instruments.

The requirement to integrate the needs of the environment into other sectoral policies has been included in the EU Treaties since 1987. The Sixth Environmental Action Programme sets out objectives for putting these goals into practice.

The so-called ‘Cardiff’ process, launched in 1998, targeted the various sectoral configurations of the Council of Ministers, requiring them to produce their own strategies for integrating the environment and sustainable development into their areas of activity. However, in the end even the Commission admitted that the results had been disappointing due to political, institutional and technical factors.

For over 20 years, IEEP has been at the forefront of work to advance EPI. Our key projects and activities have included:

EPIGOV: This EU funded research project brings together 19 institutions from around Europe to explore the modes of governance employed at global, EU, national and regional/local levels to support EPI.

IEEP helped to draft two key reports on EPI for the European Environment Agency: Environmental policy integration in Europe - State of play and an evaluation framework; and Environmental policy integration in Europe - Administrative culture and practices

In collaboration with the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS), IEEP has written two reports on the integration of environmental considerations into EU energy policy Climate Change and Energy Security in Europe: Policy Integration and its Limits and the EU budget Turning the EU Budget into an Instrument to fight Climate Change.

Regarding work in this area please contact:

Marc Pallemaerts
Peter Hjerp
Keti Medarova-Bergstrom