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Part VI Actors, Ch.37 Regional Organizations the European Union

Sandrine Maljean-Dubois

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Lavanya Rajamani, Jacqueline Peel

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 March 2023

Regional co-operation — International environmental law — International organizations

This chapter addresses the European Union (EU) as a preeminent example of a regional organization and its role in international environmental law. It first examines the progressive affirmation of EU competence in the environmental field and its development of a distinctive environmental policy. The chapter then turns to the external dimension of EU environmental competence, discussing the EU's participation in and enforcement of international environmental law, as well as the general question of whether the EU can be said to have an external environmental policy. The EU internal environmental policy expands on the international stage. Even if it lacks the internal structures and resources fully and effectively to assume a role as a global environmental leader, the EU participates in environmental negotiations, concludes and implements international treaties, and exercises its ‘soft power’ to promote the development and implementation of international environmental law. The chapter concludes with some brief reflections on other regional organizations and their distinctions from the largely sui generis EU example.

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