Hubert Heinelt, Annette Elisabeth Töller
October 18, 2016
The aim of this article is to analyse the functioning of procedural law as it is increasingly used by the European Union to steer environmental policy. Whereas the analysis is based an the theoretical debate that has evolved around the question of whether it is possible to steer modern differentiated societies, and to what extent the State ans specifically the law can fulfil steering functions, the analysis by way of example draws upon the implimentation of the Environmental Audit and Management Scheme (EMAS) and its application in industrial sites in Germany. Starting from a survey including all sites registered according to EMAS up to the end of 1997, the presentation of two “best cases” focuses an elaborating the changes (internal and external) which turn out to be result of EMAS. The findings of our analysis are that participation in EMAS may - at least in innovative companies with some readiness for internalising external costs - result in a situation in which environmental issues in general gain credibility, first measures for really improving the environmental performance of the site are being taken, and an external obligation is at least to some extent replaced by an institutionalised “inner compulsion” to environmental improvement.