IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The influence of the new member states on EU environmental policy-making: A game theoretical approach


  • Holzinger, Katharina


In January 1995 Austria, Sweden, and Finland became member states of the European Union. All three countries have traditionally given comparatively high priority to environmental protection. This paper deals with the question of what influence the new members will have on environmental policy-making in the European Union. Two aspects must be considered: First, what influence could the new member states have on decisions taken by the Council of Ministers? Second, what relative weight does the Council of Ministers have in the three procedures applicable to environmental decision-making, provided for in the Maastricht Treaty? Game-theoretical analysis shows clearly that the accession of Austria, Sweden, and Finland has caused the balance within the Council of Ministers to shift a great deal in favour of the environmentally more progressive member states, since they can no longer be overruled when qualified majority voting applies. The constraints on forming majority coalitions will now lead to far greater emphasis on censensus among the larger member states in future negotiations with the Council. The European Parliament's newly gained power in the codecision procedure should benefit the environmental frontrunner states at least in the short term. Thus, the enlargement should be very welcome in the eyes of Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Holzinger, Katharina, 1995. "The influence of the new member states on EU environmental policy-making: A game theoretical approach," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Standard-setting and Environment FS II 95-308, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbsse:fsii95308

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Humphreys, David, 2001. "Forest negotiations at the United Nations: explaining cooperation and discord," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3-4), pages 125-135, November.
    2. Hoberg, George, 1991. "Sleeping with an Elephant: The American Influence on Canadian Environmental Regulation," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 107-131, January.
    3. Haas, Peter M., 1992. "Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(01), pages 1-35, December.
    4. Alain Nadai, 1999. "Conditions of Development of a Product Ecolabel," Post-Print halshs-00159961, HAL.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:69:y:1975:i:04:p:1299-1315_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbsse:fsii95308. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.