Ambition, Complexity and Legitimacy of Pursuing Mutual Supportiveness Through the EU's External Environmental Action
THE LEGAL DIMENSION OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE: WHAT ROLE FOR THE EU, Van Vooren, Blockmans and Wouters, eds., Oxford University Press, 2012
Europa Working Paper No. 2012/02
19 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2012 Last revised: 3 Jun 2013
Date Written: January 17, 2012
This contribution aims to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the EU's external action in pursuing holistic environmental protection outside its borders. First the ambition of the EU's external environmental action will be illustrated, in its objective to support environmental multilateralism and contribute to shape a holistic approach in international environmental law, in light of the Treaty requirement of environmental integration (Article 11 TFEU) and the emerging international principle of mutual supportiveness. Then attention will be drawn to the complexity of the EU's external environmental action, by looking at the plethora of external relations tools used by the EU to achieve its global environmental objectives. The central part of the paper will assess the legitimacy of EU external environmental action against the international environmental principle of common but differentiated responsibility, taking recent EU initiatives on sustainable forest management and biofuels as case studies. The conclusions will point to promising approaches to ensure that EU external environmental action fully respects EU and international law.
Keywords: EU external relations, legitimacy, common but differentiated responsibility, climate change, biodiversity, biofuels, sustainable forest management
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