Syllabus Environmental Policy in Europe

Fall Programme at Humboldt University
In its process towards economic integration, the European Union and its predecessors have often had to address the interface between market liberalization and environmental protection measures. Environmental policy has become an important driver in the development from a free-trade area towards a political union. The EU is now less integrated than the US but much more integrated than NAFTA and can be compared to both.

The course covers the political motivation and the legal foundations for European environ-mental policy from the beginning to the present day (Treaty of Rome, Single European Act, Treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon), and the challenges arising from EU enlargement. The EU has a sui generis institutional structure that combines inter-governmental and supra-national elements, and has a variety of decision-making procedures. The process of policy formulation and the main instruments for policy implementation will be studied, including lobbying processes and the role of advanced and laggard Member States in the field of environment.

In terms of policy substance, the course will address key elements of European environmental policy, including the EU's strategy for sustainable development and the Cardiff Process of environmental policy integration. Among the recurring themes are the European water policy, renewable energies, resource efficiency and waste management, climate change, and the integration of environmental protection requirements into other policies.

The course on Environmental Policy for a United Europe also comprises the international dimension, with the role of the EU in international environmental negotiations (e.g. Kyoto Protocol, Intergovernmental Forum on Forest), the World Trade Organization, Transatlantic regulatory cooperation and the impact of European policy on other world regions.

The course is interdisciplinary, with a focus on inter-governmental and international relations, and on the integration of environmental policy requirements into other policy areas. The course will be taught initially in English to all students. After midterm, the course will be taught gradually more and more in German as the German language abilities of the students increase. A list of required and suggested readings will be provided and students need to study the relevant materials for each class, in addition to following current events through the media.

There will be a mid-term (30% of grade) and a final examination (40% of grade). In addition, contributions during class are considered (30% of grade). Students may be called upon to give oral summaries in class and to raise questions from readings pertaining to a topic announced at least a week earlier.