EU Environmental policy: Adapting to the principle of subsidiarity?

Andrew Jordan, Tim Jeppesen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The emergence of the principle of subsidiarity in the early 1990s succeeded in raising the question of what level of government should do what in an enlarged Europe. This paper briefly summarizes the origins of the subsidiarity principle and considers the way in which it has been interpreted by the main EU institutions since the Maastricht Treaty moved it into the mainstream of European politics. Then it explores the implications of the subsidiary debate in the context of the three main challenges facing EU environmental policy in the new millennium, namely improving implementation, encouraging environmental policy integration and preparing for enlargement. While the legal meaning of subsidiarity was greatly clarified by the 1999 Amsterdam Treaty, its substantive, long term impact upon the continuing process of European political integration is still open to question.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-74
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Cite this