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Johns Hopkins University Summer School: 'Anything is Possible'


Johns Hopkins University Summer School: 'Anything is Possible'

Berlin, Germany and Brussels, Belgium

Ecologic taught a Johns Hopkins Summer School on European Environmental Politics on 9-20 June 2008. Ecologic staff members and guest speakers conducted lessons on subjects, ranging from European Integration to European Water Policies. Johns Hopkins students also met with a variety of stakeholders in Berlin and Brussels to discuss European Environmental Policy.

To study German nature conservation policies, students visited the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide.

The two-week syllabus covered the following topics from various perspectives:

  • Introduction, covering the EU institutions, their competencies and the relationship between EU Member States and the EU in environmental policies; main advantages and disadvantages of EU action in environmental policies; examples of major success stories and failures of EU environmental policies; and sustainable development strategies (Nils Meyer Ohlendorf).
  • EU Enlargement and EU Neighborhood Policy (ENP), covering the legal and political framework for enlarging the EU; the previous and current enlargement rounds; and implications of EU Enlargement and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) on EU Environmental Policies (Nils Meyer Ohlendorf).
  • EU and US relations on environmental issues, covering issues of controversy; themes for Cooperation; Environmental policy in the context of G8 and NATO; US Involvement in EU Policy-Making (R. Andreas Kraemer); the form and extent of EU involvement in US policy-making; and transatlantic economic integration and regulatory cooperation (David Vogel).
  • EU Energy Policy, covering a "sustainable, efficient and diverse energy mix" as a priority objective under the future common EU energy policy; liberalisation of electricity markets as part of a wider attempt to forge an EU energy policy; and the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and current discussion (Sönke Dibbern).
  • EU Air Pollution, covering air quality in the Environment Action Programme; thematic strategies on air pollution; regulatory approaches; integrating air quality concerns into the affected sectors; and current developments, e.g. new Air Quality Directive, car emissions, Pollutant Release and Transfer register (PRTR) (Dr. Ralph Czarnecki).
  • EU Waste Policies, covering basic principles of waste management (planning, reduction, recycling, recovery, disposal); reducing the impact of waste landfills and waste incineration via landfill and waste incineration legislation; and specific legislation for the different waste streams, e.g. packaging, electronic devices, end-of-life vehicles (Alexander Neubauer).
  • EU climate and energy policy, covering EU and UN-climate change negotiations; the EU emission trading scheme; the January 2008 Commission proposal on climate change and energy policies (Dr. Camilla Bausch); views of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Susanne Dröge, SWP); views of the DG Environment on the climate strategy, international negotiations and monitoring of the EU action strategy (Martin Weiss, DG Environment); views on and work procedures of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment (Christian Lindemann, Head Of Unit, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety); views from the World Wide Fund For Nature, WWF (Julitte de Grandpré, WWF); and views of the Federation of German Industries, BDI (Alexander Kessler, BDI).
  • EU Water Policies, covering the European Water Framework Directive and its implementation 2000-2008; selection of cost-effective measures; public participation in river basin management planning; and heavily modified water bodies (Nicole Kranz).
  • Biodiversity and international relations, covering international efforts to protect biodiversity (Matthias Buck, DG Environment: Climate Environmental Agreements and Trade).
  • EU fishery policy: Views of the PEW Environment Group (Markus Knigge, Pew Environment Group, European Marine Programme).

Part of the summer school was a visit to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide and a guided tour through the European Parliament with Roric McCorristin, Office Director, Office of MEP Cem Özdemir and Axel Singhofen, Adviser for Health and Environment Policy, Faction The Greens/EFA, EP Environment Committee.

The Summer school was coordinated by Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf for Ecologic and Eileen McGurty for Johns Hopkins University.


Eileen McGurty
Berlin, Germany and Brussels, Belgium
Project ID
European Environmental Policy, Summer School, European Integration, EU Enlargement, Neighborhood Policy, Water Policy, Climate Policy, Energy Policy, Sustainable Development, transatlantic Relations, Waste, Biodiversity, Fishery Policy, Europe, USA, Germany