Environmental Impact Assessment: Theory and Practice

By Peter Wathern | Go to book overview
Save to active project

11

The EIA directive of the European Community

P.WATHERN

Introduction

Between 1977 and 1980, ‘Brussels watchers’ amongst the environmental impact assessment (EIA) fraternity could gauge their standing in the hierarchy by whether they were privy to the most recent version of the proposed EIA directive as these documents diffused out only slowly from an inner circle of luminaries. Indeed, there were so many drafts of the directive over this period that even the pundits seemed to lose count. Estimates of how many were produced ranged from ‘over twenty drafts’ (Haigh 1983) to ‘no fewer than 50’ (Milne 1986). Not only was there a long gestation period before the draft directive was formally published in 1980, but there were also protracted deliberations before a final text was agreed by the constituent member states of the European Community (EC) in July 1985. In all, a decade elapsed between the initial discussions on EIA as an element of EC environmental policy and its realization.

It would be correct, but far too simplistic, to say that the recalcitrance of certain member states, particularly the UK, was responsible for these inordinate delays. Indeed, the EIA directive merely provides one of the more extreme examples of the difficulties involved in formulating and adopting EC policy. To see how these difficulties arise, it is important to understand how EC policy evolves and to consider the role of various Community institutions within this process.

Community policy, however, is not created in a vacuum, as each member state has a range of domestic provisions which may be enhanced, nullified or even countermanded by proposed EC legislation. Thus, the EIA directive must be set within the context of national planning law. National perceptions of priorities concerning the natural environment influence the evolution of EC policy and even the political relationships between member states determine the agreed Community stance which is finally adopted. National perceptions also dictate the way in which Community policy is implemented within each member state.

In this paper the influence of Community institutions and national planning law within individual member states on the evolution of the directive are reviewed. The main provisions of the directive, representing a minimum

-192-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Environmental Impact Assessment: Theory and Practice
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 332

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?