EC environmental policy and the subsidiarity debate

The perceived threat to the EC's environmental policy as the Community's leaders struggled to rescue the Maastricht Treaty has receded. The UK Government's attempts to secure agreement that more than two dozen environmental Directives should be repealed, amended or withdrawn has failed. But significant changes to the style, substance and pace of new EC legislation seem likely in the wake of new guidelines for interpreting the doctrine of subsidiarity laid down at the Edinburgh summit in December.

In the aftermath of the referendum in which the Danes voted narrowly not to ratify the Maastricht Treaty, the EC's environmental policy was perceived to be under unprecedented threat - and the principal sources of that threat were believed to be the European Commission and the UK Government (ENDS Reports 209, pp 14-16 

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