New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Albert Breton, Giorgio Brosio, Silvana Dalmazzone and Giovanna Garrone
Chapter 17: The Netherlands: An Integrated, Participatory Approach to Environmental Policymaking
Duncan Lieﬀerink and Mark Wiering1 1. INTRODUCTION The Netherlands has a reputation of being one of the more progressive states in Europe when it comes to its environmental policy. The ambitious National Environmental Policy Plan (1989) was one of the ﬁrst plans that tried to internalise environmental issues in society and used ‘sustainable development’ as an encompassing strategy to integrate diﬀerent policy ﬁelds. Over the years the Dutch have played an active role on the European playing ﬁeld too, sometimes exporting their own environmental policy concepts to Europe and frequently standing ﬁrm in all kinds of negotiations on environmental matters (Lieﬀerink, 1997a: 210). These ambitions and activities cannot only be reduced to an overly strong Dutch engagement in environmental issues, but also stem from the fact that the Dutch confront huge environmental problems. The Netherlands is a small and extremely densely populated country, with large industries, an extensive road and rail infrastructure, one of the biggest harbours in the world and a major European airport. And, maybe most remarkably for such a small country, it is the third largest exporter of agricultural products in the world. In the next section, we will brieﬂy characterise Dutch environmental policy by way of its history and the policy strategies that the main governmental bodies have employed. We will do so from the point of view of institutionalisation. For the remainder of the chapter, our main interest is to analyse which types of policy arrangements evolved in certain periods and...
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