European Environmental Governance in Transition?

29 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2002

See all articles by Katharina Holzinger

Katharina Holzinger

University of Hamburg

Christoph Knill

University of Jena - Institute of Political Science; University of Konstanz


If one considers the different environmental action programs of the EU in which the strategic orientation of the EU environmental policy is defined for the mid-range, one can hardly avoid the impression that there has been a comprehensive transformation in the ideas about political governance. On the one hand, since the middle of the eighties, there has been an increasing demand to introduce economic instruments. On the other hand, especially since the beginning of the nineties, context-oriented governance approaches have been emphasized. Since both the middle of the eighties and the beginning of the nineties, a regulatory policy paradigm switch has been explicitly called for in the respective programs, expressed in the language of "second generation" instruments or "new regulatory approaches". However, this transformation in the area of regulatory ideas is only partially reflected in changes in the concrete instruments that are used in the environmental policy legal acts of the EU. The discrepancy between the political declarations and action programs, on the one hand, and the actual decisions being made, on the other, is especially clear with respect to the economic instruments. But when measured in reference to the political demands, it also appears that relatively few context-oriented instruments have been introduced. Command-and-control instruments are still the dominant form of environmental policy governance in the EU.

Note: Paper available in German only.

Suggested Citation

Holzinger, Katharina and Knill, Christoph and Knill, Christoph, European Environmental Governance in Transition?. Available at SSRN: or

Katharina Holzinger (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg ( email )

Von-Melle-Park 5
20146 Hamburg

Christoph Knill

University of Konstanz ( email )

Fach D-144
Universitätsstraße 10
Konstanz, D-78457

University of Jena - Institute of Political Science ( email )

Institute of Political Science
Carl-Zeiss-Straße 3
Jena, 07743
+49 3641 945450 (Phone)
+49 3641 945452 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics