Legal Perspectives on Regulatory Strategies
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Marjan Peeters and Rosa Uylenburg
Chapter 5: Limits to integration in pollution prevention and control
Integration is a magic word in EU policies: the EU itself is a fascinating international integration project, that now weaves together 28 states, having a strong emphasis on economic integration through the internal market. As a result of the EU, legal systems of Member States are largely influenced by EU law, and a large part of the environmental legislation applicable in Member States has its origin in EU directives. Within environmental law, however, the notion of integration has a very different and specific meaning compared to the general EU notion: it concerns the question of how environmental regulatory frameworks can deal comprehensively with the protection of ecosystems. The main aim of integration in environmental policies is to avoid a fragmented regulatory framework, in which each and every aspect (such as air, waste, soil, chemicals, energy) is addressed separately.This environmental integration concept falls apart into 'internal' and 'external' integration. Internal integration refers to the question how, through regulatory approaches, all the environmental aspects of a certain activity can be regulated in a coherent way. 'External integration' concerns the attempt to integrate the aim of environmental protection into other (non-environmental) policies. This idea is codified in Article 11 TFEU, which reads as follows: 'Environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the Union policies and activities, in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development.' The reference to the concept of sustainable development means that a balance should be achieved between environmental protection, economic, and social concerns.
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