Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Is the European Parliament an Environmental Champion?

01 November 2007 - 31 October 2008

The European Union plays a leading role advancing international environmental cooperation. It is the major source of environmental legislation in all its member states. The European Parliament has enormous potential to shape the direction and content of national environmental policies, particularly since the introduction of co-decision in 1993, a procedure giving it more influence in the legislative process. The European Parliament has long been regarded as a positive force for environmental change in the EU, but its green reputation has never been subjected to detailed empirical scrutiny.

We have collated a new data set of amendments introduced by the European Parliament under the co-decision procedure between 1999 and 2009.  Each amendment has been coded according to how green it is, and the extent to which it was adopted by the European Commission and Council. This dataset has been used to explore whether the European Parliament’s reputation as an environmental champion is deserved and to widen our understanding of how parliaments treat environmental legislation.
Funding: The project received funding from the ESRC between 2007 and 2009 (RES-000-22-2304)

The dataset is available via the ESDS.

Project Outputs

  • Burns, C., Carter, N. and Worsfold, N. (forthcoming)  ‘Exploring the Implications of Enlargement for the European Parliament’s Environmental Record’, Journal of Common Market Studies.
  • Burns, C. and Carter, N. (2010) ‘Is Codecision Good for the Environment? An Analysis of the European Parliament’s Green Credentials’, Political Studies, 58(1) pp.123-142. 
  • Burns, C. and Carter, N. (2010) ‘The European Parliament and Climate Change: From Symbolism to Heroism and Back Again’ in Connelly, J. and Wurzel, R. (eds) The European Union as a Climate Change Leader, Routledge, pp.58-73.

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