Governance for the Environment

Governance for the Environment

A Comparative Analysis of Environmental Policy Integration

The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development

Edited by Alessandra Goria, Alessandra Sgobbi and Ingmar von Homeyer

The integration of environmental concerns into other policy areas is widely recognized as a key element to achieve sustainable development. It also represents a challenge for the environmental community, requiring not only a new approach to policy-making but also changes to existing policies and their implementation. This essential book presents a diverse set of perspectives and experiences on how to support sustainable development through the integration of environmental issues into various policy sectors.

Chapter 2: Environmental Policy Integration and the Nation State: What Can We Learn from Current Practices?

Alessandra Sgobbi

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy


Alessandra Sgobbi 2.1 INTRODUCTION Environmental policy integration (EPI) is recognised as one of the most important environmental policy axioms of the 1980s and 1990s, as well as a concept which has become central to sustainable development. This stems from the recognition that the achievement of sustainable development requires substantial institutional changes, and the integration of environmental concerns into other areas of public policies (WCED, 1987). Several countries are incorporating the concept of EPI in their policy frameworks. For instance, EPI is one of the most ambitious basic principles of European environmental policy, and it has the same legal status as a constitutional provision (McCormick, 2001). In fact, the EU and European countries are leading in furthering the EPI concept – a bias which is reflected in the literature on EPI at the national level (Jordan and Lenschow, 2008a). Together with the political buy-in of the principle, there is a growing attention in the research arena on EPI – both in terms of its definition and scope, and in relation to the tools and instruments available to foster it. This is also reflected in the wealth of research projects, conferences and policy briefs dedicated to this subject. Yet, a precursory look at the literature highlights how different definitions of EPI persist, coupled with significant differences in the conceptual and analytical frameworks used to discuss EPI, its role and its implementation. These differences can hamper progress in the field. In particular, the issue of whether EPI is an effective route towards improved environmental management...

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