A Comparative Analysis of Environmental Policy Integration
Edited by Alessandra Goria, Alessandra Sgobbi and Ingmar von Homeyer
Chapter 2: Environmental Policy Integration and the Nation State: What Can We Learn from Current Practices?
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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