Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Flynn, Brendan.
The Future of Environmental Policy in the European Union Workshop
EU Environmental Policy at the Limes? Understanding the EU's Environmental regime as a Neo-Medieval Empire of Norms
CENTRE FOR EUROPEAN RESEARCH, University of Gothenburg
Non Refereed Paper/Abstract Presented at Conference
Optional Fields
Drawing on the heretodox IR literature which interprets the EU as a neo-medieval empire (Zielonka, 2006, Marks, 2012) this paper examines the territorial limes of EU environmental policy asking how the EU attempts to impose its environmental acquis on states which lie outside the EU but are proximate. This EU 'near abroad’ exists in a complex weave of association, accession and partnership. In a few cases, notably Russia, the relationship is complicated by a wider geopolitical background of intensive diplomatic conflict. While there has been an extensive literature on EU policy exporting, conditionality and accession, as drivers for a wider adoption of the EU’s environmental acquis, this paper examines the scope for EU environmental ‘soft imperialism’ and for coercion rather than co-operation when faced with countries like Russia who are imperial rivals and do not seek either accession nor even traditional association with the EU. What is examined here is the EU’s capacity for soft coercion over environmental policy divergences with difficult states like Russia. This draft utilizes a single case study of how the EU has been able to deploy its soft power in a hard way via the 2010 Timber regulations, to face down endemic Russian illegal forestry practices as part of a wider global problem. It is argued that the evidence suggests a rather limited scope on the part of the EU for coercion at the EU’s limes over environmental issues.
CENTRE FOR EUROPEAN RESEARCH, University of Gothenburg
Publication Themes
Environment, Marine and Energy