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Les programmes d'étiquetage écologique en Europe


  • Laurence Boy


The EU has developed various instruments aimed at combining the protection of the environment with the operation of the market. Eco labels have been recognized from the 1990ies onward as a way to bring public authorities and civil society together with a view to promote environmental concerns. The choice of an EU label was in line with the « new approach » of harmonization as advocated ever since 1983. The aim was to overcome obstacles to the free movement of goods, which is at the root of the full achievement of the Internal Market, while at the same time furthering environmental interests. Rather than representing another attempt to impose the concept of « Euro products », the introduction of an Eco label sought to enable the free Community-wide circulation of environment friendly goods, which have been lawfully put into commerce in a Member State. It thus illustrates the idea that the well informed consumer is a market actor in his/her own right, who must be enabled to take buying decisions with due regard of their environmental implications. The Ecolabel mirrors a renewed version of a concept of products and goods, which integrates all the stages of the process of production and consumption (life-cycle approach or « from the craddle to the grave »). The Eco-label is awarded only upon compliance with strict criteria. It is a success in Europe, but, in a perspective of international trade law, it might become challenged as a non-tariff barrier to trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence Boy, 2007. "Les programmes d'étiquetage écologique en Europe," Revue internationale de droit économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 5-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:riddbu:ride_211_0005

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