spillover at work.
At the same time, there has been a clear trend in the EU toward member
states steadily giving up authority over environmental regulation to EU
institutions, a trend that has wide public support. The need to remove technical
barriers to integration has encouraged the development of supranational
institutions, again much as predicted by neofunctional theory.
Neofunctionalism suggests that regional cooperation among countries
promises a quicker and more effective resolution of transnational environmental
problems than any other approach, at least among countries with similar political
systems and similar levels of economic development. Isolated national
approaches may be handicapped by fears of a loss of competitive advantage;
bilateral or multilateral approaches have proven to be effective only if limited
to selected issues of mutual concern, such as the management of shared rivers,
lakes or oceans; broader global approaches are handicapped by the increased
likelihood of disagreement and deadlock and by the lack of competent authorities
with the powers to promote and enforce regulation. Given the extent to which
the causes and effects of environmental problems do not respect national
frontiers, the EU model may provide the only effective response to such
The Treaty on European Union, which came into effect in November 1993,
created a new European Union, of which the European Community was a part. This
chapter uses the term "European Community" in describing specific events before November 1993, but otherwise uses the term "European Union." After January 1995 the
fifteen member states of the EU were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Other experiments in integration include the North American Free Trade Area
(three members), the Andean Group (five members), the Latin American Integration
Association (eleven members). the Central American Common Market (five members),
the Caribbean Community and Common Market (ten members), the Arab Common
Market (four members), the Economic Community of West African States (sixteen
members), and the Preferential Trade Area for East and Southern Africa (fifteen
Regulations and directives are the two strongest legislative tools available to the EU; the former are binding in terms of their goals and the methods of achieving those
goals, whereas the latter are binding in terms of the goals but not the methods.
Greens from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain won seats in the European Parliament in 1989. Green representatives sit in the
national legislatures of Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Sweden.