263 International Organisations and Environmental Protection: Europe in a Global World

Thursday, June 27, 2013: 4:00 PM-5:45 PM
1.15 (PC Hoofthuis)
Even in the current economic crisis, the European Union (EU) remains a major advocate of environmental policy on a global scale. The EU's central role in environmental policy tends to obscure the fact that initially the Brussels institutions were a late-comer to this novel policy in the 1970s. Other international organizations in Europe such as the OECD had started to address environmental issues much earlier. Their activities included dealing with water and air pollution by pooling scientific expertise, collecting comparative data, propagating and funding international scientific programmes and inducing greater media attention to the cross-border dimension of environmental protection. These IOs became norm entrepreneurs in environmental protection and crucial sites for the diffusion of ideas and policies to other IOs, to states and governments and probably also, across world regions and regional integration organizations.

The goal of this panel is to highlight the different roles that various international organizations played in the rise of environmental policy in Europe in the 20th century, notably their role as breeders and diffusers of new policy ideas. Two of the panel's four contributions trace different organizations' contributions to environmental protection in Europe – from early concerns about nature conservation to the consequences of industrial pollution. A third paper deals with the role that policy ideas and established practices played in the rise of the European Communities' environmental policy in the 1970s, while the fourth looks at the ambiguous relations of OPEC and European environmental policy.

Carine Germond
Katja Biedenkopf
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