Environmental Governance

Our Work

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.

Latest in Environmental Governance

  • Beyond GDP Newsletter – March 2016 edition out now

    The March 2016 Beyond GDP newsletter sheds light on the creation of indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals and relates this process to the Europe 2020 and EU Sustainable Development Strategies.

  • Health and social benefits of nature – Workshop outcomes

    IEEP and partners organised an EU-wide workshop on the health and social benefits of nature and biodiversity protection in January.

  • Implications of Brexit for UK Environmental Policy and Regulation - a report for APPG

    There is an important environmental dimension to any decision by the UK to leave the EU. This paper for the UK All-Party Parliamentary Environment Group (APPG) explores the options that might be pursued outside the EU and considers the potential impact on environmental and climate policy.

  • The importance of tackling environmental crime

    IEEP supported the final conference of the EU EFFACE project, focusing on the importance of adopting improved measures to tackle environmental crime.

  • Keeping up to date with Beyond GDP – regional indicators in Europe

    There have been a number of recent developments on Beyond GDP; IEEP’s Green Economy team provide an update.

  • Beyond GDP Newsletter – December 2015 edition out now

    The latest edition of the Beyond GDP newsletter explores indicators for a greener economy and for green growth.

  • How well has EU Cohesion Policy supported energy efficiency in buildings?

    IEEP, with Danish consultancy Ramboll, has evaluated the contributions of the 2007-2013 Cohesion Policy programmes to energy efficiency in public and residential buildings.

  • Volkswagen: Painful Lessons

    The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is now available. David Baldock discusses Volkswagen and lack of implementation and compliance across EU environmental policy in general. Also: greening of the CAP; Marine Protected Areas; and LULUCF.

  • Protecting the interests of future generations

    Do future generations get a fair deal from the policy decisions we make now? A new IEEP report for the World Future Council launched today suggests not.

  • Establishing an EU ‘Guardian for Future Generations’

    Do future generations get a fair deal from the policy decisions we make now? A new IEEP report for the World Future Council launched today suggests not.

  • Beyond GDP Newsletter – August 2015 Edition Available Now

    This edition of the Beyond GDP Newsletter explores the Social Progress Index and discusses approaches to using social indicators in the context of EU economic governance.

  • Tracking biodiversity expenditure in the EU budget

    The European Commission is in the process of developing a methodology to track biodiversity related expenditure in the EU budget. This effort is similar to the parallel process for tracking ...

  • Looking beyond Paris

    The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is now available. David Baldock argues that in the next six months the EU has a substantive role in contributing to agreement on an ambitious but credible set of SDGs and more stretching climate targets. Also: energy efficiency and security; bioeconomy; and circular economy.

  • Tackling environmental crime

    A workshop on environmental crime was held on 25 March in Granada, Spain, with Andrea Illes from IEEP providing insights into illegal e-waste shipments from the EU to China.

  • Beyond GDP Newsletter – March 2015 edition out now

    The latest edition of the Beyond GDP newsletter looks closely at the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI) 2014 and discusses the challenges of developing sustainability indices.How might a ...

  • Evidence before ideology

    The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is now available. David Baldock argues that in 2015 solid evidence rather than political fashion will be required in scrutinising EU policy and economic performance. Also: fossil fuel subsidies; allocating fishing quota; and the launch of our new training programme.

  • Access IEEP’s definitive guide to European environmental policy

    The award-winning Manual of European Environmental Policy is now available on IEEP’s website. This archive provides free access to the definitive guide to the development of European environmental policy.

  • Getting delivery right: the EU 2030 climate and energy targets and the challenge of governance

    The EU’s commitment to GHG reductions of “at least” 40% by 2030 are a useful contribution to international climate negotiations. But does the package of energy targets offered by the European Council at the same time put us on the right track to long-term decarbonisation goals? IEEP’s Martin Nesbit offers a personal perspective on what needs to be done, and how the governance arrangements need to be tightened.

  • The Manual: Front pages

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter provides information on the authors, editors and editorial board involved in the Manual, as well as guidance on how to use it, and a brief outline of its content.

  • The Manual: Chapter 1 - Policy framework

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. In this chapter, the reader is introduced to European environmental policy, EU institutions and agencies, and the development of EU treaties.

Related

Highlights