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Predestined to save the earth : environment committee of the European Parliament

Judge, David (1993) Predestined to save the earth : environment committee of the European Parliament. In: Research and document dossier. Environmental, Public Health and Consumer Protection Series . W-3, Europena Parliament, Directorate General for Research, Luxembourg.

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Despite an increase in the influence of the European Parliament in the decision making process of the European Communities in recent years some commentators still maintain that the EP's impact on EC legislation remains marginal. Taking the Environment Committee of the European Parliament as its focus this article assesses the contribution made by the EP to EC environmental policy. While it is often asserted that the EP's legislative role in relation to environmental policy began with the Single European Act, in fact the EP performed a legislative role, including the right of initiative, before 1987; a role subsequently enhanced by the SEA. Tracing the decision making process through the various stages of initiation, consultation, cooperation and implementation, and using case studies to illustrate the Committee's contribution to this process, the variable impact of the EP upon EC environmental policy is revealed. The role of the Environment Committee as a promoter of 'environmentalism' within EC policy and institutions, and the shared consensus within the committee which assists the Committee in its efforts to influence policy is also noted.