The Scope of the EU’s Competences on the Field of the Environment

  • Alexander Proelss
Part of the Environmental Protection in the European Union book series (ENVPROTEC, volume 5)


This chapter attempts to demonstrate that the existence of a separate area of competence in the TFEU applicable to environmental issues has enabled the EU to develop a comprehensive policy concerning the protection of the environment. The Member States have allocated both internal and external powers to the institutions of the EU, but have at the same time insisted on keeping concurrent legislative powers on the relevant field of policy. Notwithstanding this, primary European law, characterized by the shared character of environmental competences, the right of the Member States to adopt more stringent measures, and the fact that the requirements and principles of environmental protection ought to be taken into account also when implementing other Union policies is concerned (cf. Article 11 TFEU), subscribes significant weight to the area of environmental competences. Yet the success of this field of policy does not only depend on the lawful implementation and enforcement by the Member States of the measures adopted by the Union institutions. Rather, it will be shown that not all legal difficulties were successfully eliminated by way of codification of written lists of areas of competence in Articles 3, 4 and 6 TFEU, and by distinguishing different vertical categories of competences.


European Union Member State Foreign Direct Investment Supra Note Common Fishery Policy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LawInstitute of Environmental and Technology Law (IUTR), Trier UniversityTrierGermany

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