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European Union Policy for Sustainable Development

  • Eva LeptienEmail author
  • Ganna Mochalova
  • Eike Albrecht
Chapter
Part of the Natural Resource Management in Transition book series (NRMT, volume 2)

Abstract

Sustainable development has only recently manifested itself on the political agenda of the European Union (EU). The purpose of the founding of what we now know as the EU, namely the European Coal and Steel Community and later the European Economic Community, was to create economic interdependence and peaceful relations on the post-WWII European continent. Interdependence and economic integration have led to a unique legal and political order. The EU today is significantly more than an international organisation and takes on almost nation-state-like structures; however, it cannot quite be characterised as such. Unlike any other organisation, the EU is commissioned with a large variety of competences, ranging from the customs union to a shared competence in environmental legislation. Based on these competences, the EU can be described as a “quasi-state” (Schmidt 2006). This characterisation results in obligations that other organisations may not have. As an independent legal and political body with direct influence in all EU member states as well as influence on their trade partners, the EU must act towards making a difference when the globally-defined goal is to achieve greater sustainable development in all sectors, as is intended with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Law, with Focus on Environmental and Planning LawBrandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU)CottbusGermany

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