Towards good environmental governance in Europe


Heldeweg, Michiel A. (2005) Towards good environmental governance in Europe. European Environmental Law Review, 14 (1). pp. 2-24. ISSN 0966-1646

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Abstract:This article is about good governance, as presented in the 2001 EC White Paper, in relation to environmental legal policy making in Europe. First a concise analysis is made of the concept of good governance. Then, in a ``tour d’horizon’’, environmental policy programmes, legal cornerstones and instruments are described on the basis of the five main principles of good governance: openness; participation; accountability; effectiveness; and coherence. This overview illustrates the move toward good governance, fitting with the wording of the fifth Environmental Action Programme of 1993: ``Whereas previous environmental measures tended to be prescriptive in character with an emphasis on the `thou shalt not’ approach, the new strategy leans more towards a `let’s work together’ approach.’’ However, much is yet to be done, if a true shift in governance is to be brought about. A further analysis is therefore made of the possibilities of enhancing the concept of good environmental governance under the future European Constitution. Major improvements are within grasp if there is a willingness to place a ``clean’’ Europe for citizens before the single market, introduce basic citizens’ rights on basic environmental standards, further support for environmental NGO’s and allow for more competition between Member States
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Copyright:© 2005 Kluwer Law International
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