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Environmental Policy Integration and Multi-Level Governance (EPIGOV)

EPIGOV logoThe integration of environmental issues into other policy areas (environmental policy integration - EPI) has been widely recognised as a key for sustainable development (SD). It has also been the biggest challenge facing the environmental community, requiring not only a new approach to policy-making but also changes in policies and their implementation. However, the cross-cutting nature of EPI has not easily fit with traditional hierarchical governance based on (nation-) state authority, sectoral differentiation, and 'command and control' type instruments. It is therefore not surprising that measures to promote EPI frequently have also relied on new modes of governance, such as voluntary, procedural, information, learning and market-based instruments.

Efforts to achieve and improve EPI have been made at local/regional, national, European and global levels of governance, and within the private sector. Measures at different levels may affect each other, thereby improving or weakening EPI and SD. Indeed, the interlinkages between these different modes of governance and layers have emerged as a central challenge in the area of EPI. There has been a rapidly growing body of literature analysing and discussing different EPI approaches and measures. This EU Concerted Action aimed to structure these findings and to identify avenues for future research by focusing on two main themes:
   First, is it possible to identify modes of governance which are typically used to promote EPI at particular levels, eg. local/regional, national, EU, global? If so, which governance modes are typically used at which levels? And which are most effective or show most promise?
   Second, how do EPI measures at the different levels affect each other and how could governance be improved to increase synergies and minimise negative interaction effects across the levels?

Assembling and discussing findings which are relevant for these themes should ultimately facilitate progress in improving the implementation of EPI in the EU multi-level governance system.

External project homepage:

FNI project leader: Jørgen Wettestad

Project period: 2006-2009


Wettestad, Jørgen, 'Interaction Between EU Carbon Trading and the International Climate Regime: Synergies and Learning'. International Environmental Agreements, Vol 9, No 4, 2009, pp. 393-408.

Wettestad, Jørgen, Interaction between EU Carbon Trading and International Institutions: Synergies or Disruptions?. EPIGOV Paper No 34. Berlin, Ecologic, 2008, 33 p.
 Related focal points of research:

   Global environmental governance and law
   European energy and environmental politics

Project funding:

   European Union (6th Framework Frogramme)

 External cooperation partners:

   Ecologic, Berlin
   Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), London
   Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Italy
   Stockholm Environment Institute

Fridtjof Nansen Institute
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