Environmental integration in the European Union
The process of environmental integration in the European Union has explored. The main stages of the formation of a Common EU policy on environmental protection have been identified. It has shown that it was caused by the emergence of the first environmental problems in the EU in 1960-1970’s and their exacerbation. The development of this policy has been demonstrated on the example of the seven Environmental Action Programs (EAP). The main milestones of the formation of environmental integration have established. They are: the Single European Act (1986), the Maastricht Treaty (1992), the Amsterdam Treaty (1997), the Cardiff Process (since 1997). The peculiarity of the European environmental integration has revealed, in particular, the inclusion of the imperatives of sustainable development in the environmental policy and many directions of the domestic policy. It has concluded that the adoption of national strategies contributes to better coordination of sustainable development policies by integrating it into horizontal and vertical levels of the governance. The vertical and horizontal mechanisms of integration of sustainable development in the EU Member States have analyzed. It has been proved that the special feature of recent years was the establishment in some Member States the special structures responsible for the environmental integration, as well as taking into account environmental imperatives in the planning of financing their activities. It has concluded that environmental integration process has multi-level and multi-vector character although in different periods it had different speed and scale. However taking into account high priority of the environmental protection in the EU domestic and international policy it is worth waiting for further development of environmental integration in the European Union.
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