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Development of an Assessment Framework on Environmental Governance in the EU Member States

Publication

Development of an Assessment Framework on Environmental Governance in the EU Member States

This report arises from the European Commission's Environmental Implementation Review process, a biennial assessment of Member State performance on implementation of EU environmental law and policy. It addresses an issue identified in the 2017 review as a root cause of implementation weaknesses; poor environmental governance. The authors from IEEP, Ecologic Institute and the Central European University outline the development of, and the rationale for, a standard assessment template, the Environmental Governance Assessment (EGA). The report provides information from a first application of the EGA to the Member States and outlines an approach to categorisation of Member State performance on a subset of the questions addressed in the EGA. It then draws some general lessons and offers recommendations, both for the future development of the EGA process and on environmental governance itself. The report is available for download.


Citation

European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment 2019: Development of an Assessment Framework on Environmental Governance in the EU Member States. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Language
English
Author(s)
Martin Nesbit (IEEP)
Tsvetelina Filipova (IEEP)
Thorfinn Stainforth (IEEP)
Johanna Nyman (IEEP)
Stephen Stec (Central European University)
Funding
Publisher
Year
2019
ISBN
978-92-76-08005-3
Dimension
134 pp.
Project ID
2618-01
Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1. INTRODUCTION
2. THE ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK
2.1. Development of the assessment framework
2.2. Literature review
2.3. Development of the assessment template
2.4. Using the assessment framework (1): Preparing the Environmental Governance Assessments
2.5. Using the assessment framework (2): Comparing and aggregating results
2.5.1. General issues in reading and interpreting the Environmental Governance Assessments
2.5.2. Developing a consistent approach to comparing and aggregating results
3. FINDINGS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE ASSESSMENTS
3.1. Transparency
3.1.1. Access to information
3.1.2. Reliability/quality of information
3.1.3. Access to Information Requests
3.1.4. Implementation evidence/reporting, including Environmental Information Systems
3.1.5. Good practice examples on transparency
3.1.6. Overall results on the transparency questions for which we categorised performance
3.2. Participation
3.2.1. Public participation
3.2.2. Public participation in planning and permitting processes
3.2.3. Public confidence in institutions
3.2.4. Equitability and inclusiveness
3.2.5. Good practice examples on participation
3.2.6. Overall results on the public participation questions for which we categorised performance
3.3. Access to justice
3.3.1. Major barriers to access to justice (legal standing requirements)
3.3.2. Major barriers to access to justice (costs of procedures in front of the court)
3.3.3. Effective remedies
3.3.4. Practical information on Access to Justice
3.3.5. Judicial capacities, training and information events
3.3.6. Corruption issues relevant to the environment (permitting, natural resources, environmental crime)
3.3.7. Good practice examples on Access to justice
3.3.8. Overall results on the access to justice questions for which we categorised performance
3.4. Compliance assurance and accountability
3.4.1. Preventing compliance problems
3.4.2. Discovering compliance problems
3.4.3. Enforcement action
3.4.4. Good working arrangements of compliance assurance authorities
3.4.5. Good practice examples on compliance assurance and accountability
3.4.6. Overall results on the compliance assurance questions for which we categorised performance
3.5. Effectiveness and efficiency
3.5.1. Enabling financing and absorption of funds
3.5.2. Administrative capacity (environmental inspectorates, police, customs, prosecution services and audit bodies)
3.5.3. Inter/cross-sectoral coordination
3.5.4. Integrated assessment and planning tools
3.5.5. Flexibility/adaptability
3.5.6. Good practice examples on effectiveness and efficiency
3.5.7. Overall results on the effectiveness and efficiency questions for which we categorised performance
4. MEMBER STATE ASSESSMENTS
4.1. Design and presentation of Member State country fiches
4.2. Research challenges
4.2.1. Administrative structure and governance system
4.2.2. Public availability of information and data
4.2.3. Obstacles to easy access to databases
4.2.4. Conflicting sources of information
4.3. Areas for further improvement of the assessment framework
5. OUTLOOKAND CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE INITIATIVES
5.1. Initiatives aimed at improving environmental governance
5.2. Current pressures potentially weakening environmental governance
6. CONCLUSIONS
7. LIST OF ANNEXES

Keywords
access to the courts, compliance audit, environmental law, EU environmental policy, EU Member State, governance, productivity, public opinion, transparency in decision-making, Europe