Economic Actors in EU Environmental Law

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In this paper, we acknowledge that the inclusion of economic actors in environmental governance is crucial for environmental protection; but equally that their role does raise some significant concerns, particularly in terms of accountability and (input and output) legitimacy. We examine below the efforts made in EU environmental law to respond to those concerns, and argue that EU law has developed important safeguard mechanisms to address concerns about economic actors. Those mechanisms are, however, applied in a flawed and inconsistent manner. We therefore explore some additional methods for mitigating the challenges posed by actors in regulation, which build on the approaches already entrenched in EU law. It is not suggested that, even if perfectly implemented, there is any easy way to escape the difficulties posed by the role of economic actors in regulation. So we are not proposing any overarching single solution to the challenges posed. Borrowing from de Bu´rca’s discussion of democracystriving approaches to transnational (global) governance, we think that when perfect solutions are not available, it is important to ‘strive’ for even imperfect legitimacy and accountability

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-59
JournalYearbook of European Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2015

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