In 2016, we celebrate forty years since IEEP was established. We were the first independent institution created specifically to help improve understanding of how to tackle environmental issues in Europe, and we remain one of the very few today. Initially established in Bonn we are now settled in London and Brussels and have connections, associates and friends in many other countries.
Over the years, we have pioneered key policy concepts, such as integrated pollution control, the embedding of climate goals in the EU budget, making focused environmental payments for farmers, and the use of economic instruments for the environment. We played a role in the formulation of the key article in the Treaty which, since the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997, gives the EU the goal of sustainable development. We have helped analyse, shape and review dozens of European initiatives, ranging from vehicle emissions legislation to water pollution law, from the design of cross-compliance for farmers to the mechanisms to reverse the loss of Europe’s biodiversity and control invasive alien species. Former Director Nigel Haigh’s new book* charts the key stages of EU environment policy’s progress, and IEEP is proud of its contribution to that journey.
Our current agenda includes work on the next round of EU climate and energy policy, environmental tax reform, the review of the nature conservation directives, strengthening climate and agriculture policies, sustainable bioenergy policy, the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, the impact of new trade agreements, the establishment of marine protected areas and mechanisms for better regulation in Europe. Even more than in the past, we look to collaborate with partners across Europe and beyond. Our fortieth year is an opportunity to thank all those who have worked with us, supported us, commissioned projects from us, commented on and criticised our work, and responded to our analysis and judgement. Our heartfelt thanks to you all and we look forward to many more decades of working together.
During 2016, we plan to publish a series of short papers addressing issues for the coming decade. These will be published alongside reports on current work such as the environmental implications of a British departure from the EU, the health and social exclusion dimensions of nature conservation policy, and the greening of the CAP. There will be workshops on some of these themes as well. As ever, keep your eyes on the website.
*EU Environmental Policy: it’s journey to centre stage, Nigel Haigh, Routledge / Earthscan 2016. [Access]