Implementation - More than Monitoring and Enforcement: Evidence from the Implementation of the 1989 Municipal Waste Incineration Directive (89/429/EEC) in Four Member States

Simone Schucht, Alexandra Bültman, Malcolm Eames, Kristiaan R.D. Lulofs

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Researchers and policy-makers accept that implementation decisively influences the effectiveness of European (EU) environmental policy. Some Member States lead the development of EU policy and implement Directives with little problem. Others follow a variety of compliance (or non-compliance) paths. Implementation gaps and policy failures are prevalent. Policy outcomes often differ radically between even neighbouring Member States. What are the reasons for these differences? Why do Member States follow different compliance paths? Why do implementation gaps and policy failures occur? What factors can explain the different policy outcomes achieved? Is it only 'classical' implementation variables i.e. the monitoring and enforcement actions of public authorities that count? What lessons can we draw for the future? This paper addresses these questions through a comparative analysis of the implementation of the European Directive on the reduction of air pollution from existing municipal waste incineration plants (89/429/EEC) in Germany, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom: four neighbouring Member States that exhibit quite divergent compliance paths and policy outcomes. Monitoring and enforcement are found to have only limited explanatory power. In practice national contextual variables, such as: public and political environmental awareness; interactions both with environmental and non-environmental policies; regulatory anticipation and uncertainty; the degree of autonomy and scope of regulatory agencies; and, industrial and market structure of the regulated industry, must also be considered.
Original languageUndefined
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherCERNA, Centre d’économie industrielle Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Publication series

NameCERNA working paper
PublisherCERNA, Centre d’économie industrielle Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris


  • IR-60761

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