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Enforcing environmental law through infringements and sanctioning: steering not rowing

Smith, Melanie ORCID: 2020. Enforcing environmental law through infringements and sanctioning: steering not rowing. Peeters, Marjan and Eliantonio, Mariolina, eds. Research Handbook on EU Environmental Law, Research Handbooks in European Law, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 213-230.

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The methods and efficacy of obtaining compliance with environmental law has been widely researched in both law and political science, with varying conclusions as to the effectiveness of different enforcement tools, especially the use of the infringement procedure in Article 258 TFEU. This contribution seeks to review the Commission’s use of the infringement procedure and financial sanction over the last 20 years. It analyses what role the infringement mechanism has played in environmental compliance and whether its use has changed in light of the Commission’s better regulation agenda, which seeks to move away from the infringement procedure as the dominant tool of enforcement across EU law. This chapter examines the data on Article 258 and Article 260 TFEU between 1998-2017. It shows that the Commission has historically invested huge resources in environmental enforcement through the infringement process. I argue that despite better regulation, and the increasing prominence of other compliance tools in combatting environmental infractions, the infringement procedure remains a significant feature of the Commission’s enforcement strategy as a signalling device: it steers, not rows.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: Edward Elgar
Date of Acceptance: 2019
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 07:46

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