Amsterdam Research Institute for Legal Studies

The regulation of air quality in Europe

12June2018 12:00 - 13:00


Paul Scholten Centre Colloquium with Tobias Arnoldussen (PPLE)

Venue: Roeterseiland Room A3.01

  • Roeterseilandcampus - building A

    Nieuwe Achtergracht 166 | 1018 WV Amsterdam
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From the literature it is well known that individual member states can wield significant influence on the drafting of European Union environmental policy. To explain why certain countries influence EU policy more than others the literature points to institutional, economic and philosophical factors.

Little attention has been paid to the role of suddenly emerging environmental problems in individual member states that cause them to play a forerunner role. By tracing back how EU air quality regulation was shaped, the author highlights the role that health scares over air quality in the UK and concern with infrastructure development in the Netherlands have played. Member states apparently use EU policy making to secure their favourite solution to their specific problem. That means that influence of local problems on Europe wide regulation is disproportionately strong because they urge member states to take proactive stance in shaping future policies. This tendency is defined as the amplification effect.

However, once a member state has steered policy in a certain direction it loses its interest in it, allowing for new contenders to step up. The result is a bricolated, patchy policy in which concepts, regulatory tools and policy philosophies are stacked upon each other with little rhyme or reason.

Research colloquium, organised by the Paul Scholten Centre. This colloquium is open to all, no registration required. A copy of the paper can be obtained via

Published by  Paul Scholten Centre