Flexible directives: towards a better environment?
PhD student: Ms M.M. Bogaart
Promotors: Prof R. Uylenburg, Prof Ch.W. Backes
Duration: 1/8/2008 - 31/7/2012
PhD defence: Amsterdam, 19/10/2017
In its early years, European environmental policy on environmental quality objectives and emission limit values placed emphasis on harmonization at Community level. However, nowadays one can say that the focus has shifted towards the need to ensure a considerable measure of flexibility for the member states, taking into account the variability of, among others, environmental conditions throughout the Community. Both harmonization and differentiation can be justified by different principles of European integration. For instance, while harmonization is primarily focused on the realization of a level playing field of the internal market, differentiation is in line with the principle of subsidiarity. Apart from that, one should also take into account the principle of a high level of protection of the environment. All these principles need to be reconciled in constructing the legal framework and the policy approach on water and air quality. Against this background, the main question to be answered in the present research is to what extent the member states of the European Union have room for differentiation with regard to emission limit values and environmental quality objectives nowadays, especially with regard to water and air. Furthermore, the research will explore the future by answering the question whether this room for differentiation should be expanded or rather be limited taking into account the need to reconcile the above mentioned principles.