The marathon of the hare and the tortoise: implementing the EU Water Framework Directive

Bourblanc Magalie, Crabbé Ann, Liefferink Duncan, Wiering Mark. 2013. The marathon of the hare and the tortoise: implementing the EU Water Framework Directive. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 56 (10) : pp. 1449-1467.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Liste HCERES des revues (en SHS) : oui

Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Géographie-Aménagement-Urbanisme-Architecture

Abstract : Reading the available evidence on the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), one gets the impression that some countries anticipate implementation problems by starting off pragmatically and with relatively low ambitions, while others make a quick and ambitious start and tend to slow down in later phases of the process. Inspired by Lundqvist's classical study of air pollution policy in the USA and Sweden, we assess the importance of some general characteristics of the respective political-institutional systems to explain differences in WFD implementation in four EU countries: Denmark, France, England/Wales and the Netherlands. We conclude, among other things, that visibility of the policy process, accountability of politicians and policy makers vis-à-vis their stakeholders and the EU, division of responsibilities for policy formulation vs. implementation and the involvement of the public explain the level of ambition in EU implementation to a considerable extent. Thus, the Lundqvist variables turn out to be useful for both classifying and explaining differences in EU implementation processes. (Résumé d'auteur)

Classification Agris : P01 - Nature conservation and land resources

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 6 (2005-2013) - Agriculture, environnement, nature et sociétés

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Bourblanc Magalie, CIRAD-ES-UMR G-EAU (ZAF)
  • Crabbé Ann, University of Antwerp (BEL)
  • Liefferink Duncan, Radboud University (NLD)
  • Wiering Mark, Radboud University (NLD)

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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