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Title: Environmental Justice in Europe: The Role for Environmental NGOs
Author: Fuller, Sara Kristiina
ISNI:       0000 0001 3485 4352
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2008
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This research stems from a normative concern about environmental justice and about how people, particularly those facing environmental threats, can become involved in policy making around environmental issues or have their concerns represented within the policy making process. Within Europe, there is increasing concern about a democratic deficit and a perceived gap between policy makers and citizens. In this context, the role ofNGOs is increasingly becoming important but there are concerns that NGO engagement in the EU policy process may weaken democratic policy making with regard to how the gap is bridged between policy makers and those affected by policies. The research has explored how and why NGOs engage with the EU policy making process around environmental issues. By asking questions about how NGOs prioritise environmental issues, the practices they undertake and the outcomes from their activity, the research assesses the role of NGOs in representing environmental issues within the EU policy process, and how their activity may promote or constrain the achievement of environmental justice in Europe. The research is based on a case study of the Via Baltica road corridor through Poland and the Baltic States, part of the Trans-European Transport Network. Interviews were carried out along the corridor and in Brussels with key stakeholders, including representatives from environmental NGOs and policy makers. The research found that, along the Via Baltica, NGOs have played a role in raising environmental issues at all levels of policy making and have the ability to engage with policy makers in proactive ways. However their concerns are biased in favour of nature protection and they do not represent the views of local residents in their activities. Moreover the opportunities for engagement and the nature of EU policy making impacts on the way that NGOs can engage with the policy process. Therefore whilst NGOs could, in principle, promote environmental justice in the EU, the structures they operate within and the practices adopted at different scales limit their ability to do so.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available