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Chapter Summary

In both the United States and the European Community, the supreme federal courts have been, for instance, accused of judicial activism, which has first and foremost had the consequence of concentrating powers in the hands of the federal government. It therefore seems appropriate to consider how another constitutional and institutional strategy that of harmonization, could reconcile the complex interrelationships between free trade and the environment. Harmonization offers means of managing numerous regulatory objectives simultaneously and prospectively. There is also a link between regulatory competition and harmonization. Interplay between the environmental protection and the free movement objectives of the internal market have been clearly present throughout the evolution of environmental law in the European Community and the United States. The vertical division of powers in American environmental policy is largely reminiscent of the European situation. American federal- and state-level regulations, too, form a concurrent and complex mosaic of provisions.

Keywords: American environmental policy; European community; federal-level regulations; free trade; harmonization; regulatory competition; state-level regulations; supreme federal courts



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