As public disquiet about the EU intensifies, powerfully expressed in the gains made by anti-EU parties in May’s European elections, more searching questions are likely to be asked about the costs and the benefits of European integration.
In their hearts, those in the environmental sector know they should engage with this matter. After all, last year prime minister David Cameron identified it as one in which the EU’s influence had “gone too far”. But whether they have worked out when and how to engage with rising public anxieties about the EU is far from clear. That the issue of Europe divides mainstream political parties and business is already well known. Among environmentalists, however, Europe has become a rather taken-for-granted feature of the status quo.