Towards good environmental governance in Europe

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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
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)2-24
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean environmental law review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • IR-55239
  • METIS-230514

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