In the years since 1972, the European Union (EU) has created a system of environmental governance. With a wide range of legislative measures, extending from pollution control in water and air through policies on solid waste management, the control of genetically modified organisms, and the protection of the wildlife and countryside, to requirements for environmental administration, management, reporting, and audit, the EU's environmental policy is broad in scope, extensive in detail, and often stringent in effort. The significance of environmental governance in the EU goes beyond matters of legislation, important though they may be. It extends to the ways in which decision-making on environmental policy has become institutionalised within Europe, both at the level of the EU itself and in the practices of its member states.
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