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The marathon of the hare and the tortoise: implementing the EU Water Framework Directive
Bourblanc, M; Crabbé, A.; Liefferink, D; Wiering, M (2013). The marathon of the hare and the tortoise: implementing the EU Water Framework Directive. Journal of environmental planning and management 56(10): 1449-1467.
In: Journal of environmental planning and management. Routledge. ISSN 0964-0568; e-ISSN 1360-0559, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    policy implementation; EU environmental policy; discretion; WaterFramework Directive

Authors  Top 
  • Bourblanc, M
  • Crabbé, A., more
  • Liefferink, D
  • Wiering, M

    Reading the available evidence on the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), one gets the impression that some countries anticipate implementation problems by starting off pragmatically and with relatively low ambitions, while others make a quick and ambitious start and tend to slow down in later phases of the process. Inspired by Lundqvist's classical study of air pollution policy in the USA and Sweden, we assess the importance of some general characteristics of the respective political-institutional systems to explain differences in WFD implementation in four EU countries: Denmark, France, England/Wales and the Netherlands. We conclude, among other things, that visibility of the policy process, accountability of politicians and policy makers vis-a-vis their stakeholders and the EU, division of responsibilities for policy formulation vs. implementation and the involvement of the public explain the level of ambition in EU implementation to a considerable extent. Thus, the Lundqvist variables turn out to be useful for both classifying and explaining differences in EU implementation processes.

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