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The challenge of sustainabilityLinking politics, education and learning$
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Hugh Atkinson and Ros Wade

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447306467

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447306467.001.0001

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‘Greening’ the European Union? The Europeanisation of European Union environment policy

‘Greening’ the European Union? The Europeanisation of European Union environment policy

Chapter:
(p.105) Five ‘Greening’ the European Union? The Europeanisation of European Union environment policy
Source:
The challenge of sustainability
Author(s):

O’Brennan John

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447306467.003.0005

In Chapter Five, John O’Brennan argues that environmental problems are by their very nature potentially existential and traverse international border demarcations. In Europe, the consensus on collective action has grown over the last two decades as problems as diverse as substandard nuclear plants in Bulgaria and Slovakia and the lethal impact of toxic pollutants released into the River Danube have concentrated more and more attention on the need for a European-wide approach to multidimensional problems. The chapter examines the evolution of European Union (EU) policy in the areas of environment, energy and sustainable development through the lenses of path dependency and historical institutionalism. It argues that environmental policy has developed via a multitude of actors and through a sharing of competences within a multi-level system of governance. Although there remain some very significant challenges for Europe, the cumulative result has been an unprecedented pooling of sovereignty that has enabled the EU to learn and act collectively and forcefully in a vital area of global socio-economic activity.

Keywords:   environment policy, European union, Europeanisation, climate change, politics, economy

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