Strategic environmental awakening: European progress in regional environmental integration

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Series Details Vol.11, No.2, March-April 2001, p75-88
Publication Date April 2001
ISSN 0961-0405
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In the EU Structural Funds, integrating environment and regional economic development is a challenge that is progressively being met. From a beginning characterized by conflict between these two themes, considerable progress has been made in successive rounds of programmes, accompanied by a gradual raising of awareness and the development of new mechanisms for integration. This progress has been supported by environmental guidance from the European Commission, with handbooks designed to raise new ideas and suggest innovative ways of approaching the task. Current programmes incorporate extensive environmental profiles to support programme development, and new methods of combining both horizontal and vertical integration show considerable promise for the realization of environmental objectives in programme implementation. To facilitate further integration, priorities for research include the role for environmental strategies, the production of an index of environmental integration, the identification of measurable environmental indicators and confirmation that sustainable development is acting as a catalyst for environmental gain.

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