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The implementation of environmental directives in the European Community: A comparative analysis.

Riegstra-Voslamber, Ellen A. (1997) The implementation of environmental directives in the European Community: A comparative analysis. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Statistics available from the European Commission indicate that the implementation of EC directives on the environment is a problem. There is a gap between adoption and transposition into national law as well as partial failure in implementation and enforcement. There is a concurrent identified gap in the literature on comparative implementation research addressed in this thesis, the main objective of which is to analyse the origins of the environmental implementation problem and to develop and test a model of EC environmental implementation which can be used to explain and understand the origins of the current situation. The literature suggests that implementation may be considered as the fulfilling of a dual task. First, the introduction into national law of measures adopted by the EC and second, the installation of a framework at Member State level, which sees to it that the adopted measures are applied and enforced. A model of the EC policy-making and implementation process, based on Easton's systems approach and borrowing from Sabatier and Mazmanian's work on implementation, is employed to structure the analysis. Hypotheses based on four identified composite model variables are tested against evidence from four case studies; the Drinking Water Directive and the Birds Directive in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Of the four investigated model variables, the 'degree of institutional change' shows the best correlation to the degree of implementation success. In the Netherlands a serious obstacle to implementation has been the constitutional system of that Member State. Under the threat of various legal measures against it by the Commission, the Netherlands has amended its constitutional provisions for law-making in order to speed up the process of implementing EC legislation. A similar important change has taken place in the United Kingdom, which was forced to alter its regulatory system on the supply and control of drinking water. The most significant impact of Community effort in environmental matters has been to encourage the convergence and strengthening of national regulation; non-implementation has been a stimulus for the strengthening of Community structures and generated ideas for possible future Community instruments. The model developed and tested has not only proven useful in helping structure the analysis but it has also been of some contributory value in explanation. It has enabled comparison of implementation across environmental policy sectors and across Member States, thus offering potential for further studies in this area.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Riegstra-Voslamber, Ellen A.
Date : 1997
Contributors :
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:13
Last Modified : 16 Mar 2018 13:19

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