This study examines differences in the costs of implementation of EU environmental law across Member States. Differences in the costs of implementation can be a sign of risks to implementation and can lead to unnecessary burdens on individuals and businesses. Both a literature review and case studies find differences between countries: even where the EU requirements are the same, national choices lead to cost differences for businesses. Some differences in costs simply reflect different countries' situations, and is to be expected. However, there also seem to be differences in administrative costs between countries for actions that should be broadly comparable. Whilst the data is too poor to provide systematic evidence, there are indications of potential to improve efficiency, for example, by adoption of best practice.
This report assesses the green elements of the fiscal stimulus packages that were implemented in response to the economic and financial crisis that began in 2008 through general analysis, case studies of countries and modelling. The majority of the green measures focused on energy efficiency and climate change mitigation. The recovery packages contributed to economic recovery and provided a temporary boost to employment, the scale of the impacts being limited by the small share of green measures in the recovery plans. The multiplier effects for green investment are similar to those from any kind of investment. Within a few years, the net environmental effects of the measures were generally found to be favourable.
Studies summarising Member States' policy developments related to resource efficiency and the environment: 2010 country profiles are available.
Studies undertaken to support the Commission's Annual Environment Policy Review (EPR) preparations. EPR's 2009 and previous editions are available at the DG Environment's Policy Review homepage.
Member States are increasingly adopting Impact Assessment-like systems for use in policy analysis at their level. Whilst this has been established practice for some for a number of years, others have only more recently adopted systematic frameworks.
The way in which Member States use their frameworks influences the way in which Europe implements its environmental policies and the Commission has a role in supporting the spread of best practice. With this in mind, a workshop was held in November 2005 to bring together experts from Member States and to discuss on the basis of past examples (documented in a background report).