'Greening' the European Union: What can be learned from the leaders of EU environmental policy?

Andrew Jordan, Andrea Lenschow

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The European Union (EU) has undoubtedly made enormous strides in developing a progressive environmental policy, but many of its own policies actively undermine the pursuit of sustainable development. In the aftermath of the 1999 Amsterdam Treaty, the EU is finally beginning to confront the thorny problem of how to 'green' itself. The vehicle selected to reach this goal is the so-called 'Cardiff process' of review and reporting, which is currently exploring the opportunities to achieve environmental policy integration (EPI) at the European level. However, it is argued that in order to 'green' the EU, member states must also take complementary steps to green themselves by implementing EPI at national and sub-national levels. The progress hitherto made by four of the 'greenest' states of the EU, namely Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK, is examined in order to investigate the opportunities for cross-national learning in this politically and ecologically important area of contemporary European environmental policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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