Progetti di ricerca

The Europeanization of environmental protection law and case law. An analysis of supranational and national sources of law and case law for defining the European environmental jus commune.

Ambito disciplinare Macroarea 3

Area scientifica Area 14 - Scienze giuridiche

Tipologia finanziamento PROGETTI PER ASSEGNI DI RICERCA (Finanziamenti di Ateneo)

Stato progetto Concluso (archiviato)

Data avvio: 1 April 2015

Data termine: 31 March 2017

Importo: 46.666,00 Euro


The concept "environmental protection" cannot be easily explained adopting a specific legal categorization. Its object, i.e. "the environment" is still far from being exactly defined in legal terms.

When considering the EU legal space, a research on environmental law has to be developed using a comparative approach. Indeed, adopting this methodology allows a better understanding of the relations among the domestic and the supranational legal systems. Thus, it becomes possible to understand whether the two systems influence each other (mutual influence) or whether it is a unilateral (vertical) kind of relation.

National (Member States) and supranational (EU) public authorities, as well as the legal doctrine have shown an increasing concern about the necessity to regulate human activities having regard to two crucial aspects: protecting individuals' health, and preserving communities' cultural.

Indeed, despite the fact that the word environment was not mentioned in the treaties establishing the EEC, environmental protection has become one of its (implicit) aims very early. Harmonization of national environmental measures was deemed necessary so as not to disturb intra-community trade, to prevent unequal competition conditions, and to safeguard the protection of human health and the environment.

However, while the legal doctrine has already investigated supranational and national legislation in deep, what is still missing is an analysis focusing on the mutual influence among the national and supranational level in the creation and definition of environmental laws.

Thus, to understand the process of "Europeanization of environmental law", these research questions should be addressed: (a) how do EU's efforts on environmental protection influence domestic legislation?; (b) how are EU legal and binding instruments contributing to the harmonization of MSs' standards for the environment? Which soft-laws or EU practices are being used to implement the protection of the environment in the entire EU?

Therefore, this analysis will focus on: (1) the supranational level , i.e. the role of EU Institutions; (2) national level, in particular with a specific reference to the Italian case.

As for point (1), this study will investigate in deep "EU initiatives" on this field. In this context, using the generic definition of "EU initiatives" to describe the object of the analysis is a way to encompass legal instruments (e.g. Directive 2008/1/EC concerning integrated pollution prevention and control), ECJ's case law, and also other non-legal instruments (e.g. policies, governance, the creation of a mainstream) which can favor – though not binding – an harmonization of national environmental laws.

As for point (2), this project will examine the Italian sources of law and case law regarding environmental protection. This effort will be primarily aimed at verifying whether Italian legislation and the attitude of the Italian Constitutional Court on the necessity to protect the environment (e.g. judgment n. 210 of 1987) is – and to what extent – influenced by the EU.


During the first year of research, after having developed a sort of “EU conceptual map”, the main researcher’s activity will be collecting all the necessary documents and materials to carry on the analysis, including the participation in conferences and seminars organized on environmental issues. At the end of the first year, a workshop should be organized involving experts/scholars in environmental law to discuss the first results of the research activity. Through this intellectual exchange the candidate will have the opportunity to strengthen my research questions in a more challenging perspective. In addition, the candidate is expected to issue a paper to be published on a prestigious legal journal. During the second year: The writing part of the research project will be developed to achieve the final result: a volume ( a monograph volume). As final step, the researcher will organize a second workshop to present his/her results to the scientific community to identify possible future scientific developments.



Bando per Progetti per Assegni di Ricerca Junior anno 2014


Assegnista di ricerca: Michele Di Bari