International Tax and Public Finance

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 375–387

The role of the european union in environmental taxation

  • Stephen Smith

DOI: 10.1007/BF00877507

Cite this article as:
Smith, S. Int Tax Public Finan (1995) 2: 375. doi:10.1007/BF00877507


The paper considers the extent to which environmental taxation should be coordinated by, or assigned to, the European Union (EU) rather than its member states. An economic interpretation of the principle of subsidiarity forms the main organizing principle for the discussion. Since the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, this principle has governed the boundary between the roles of member states and the Union. The paper considers the application of subsidiarity to the assignment of policy responsibility for environmental taxation between the EU and national governments, highlighting the role of both environmental and economic spillovers from uncoordinated national policy and problems of integration of environmental taxes with other areas of policy.

Key words

environmental taxes Fiscal Federalism European Union 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Fiscal StudiesLondonUK

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