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Environmental Governance Beyond Borders: The Impact of European Union’s Normative Power in Non-EU Countries

11th Annual Evening Seminar Series: Environmental Law in Times of Change

Thursday 30 November, 7:00pm-8:30pm,
Room G3 (Main Building, SOAS)


Speakers: Florent Pelsy and Virginie Rouas
(Legal Advisors, Milieu) 


The European Union (EU) is a major economic and political actor on the global stage. As such, its norms and policies can exert considerable influence on non-EU countries. This situation has been visible in the field of environmental governance. Over the last decades, the EU has built a rich and advanced legal and policy framework to protect the environment. On some occasions, the domestic application of EU environmental norms has had direct or indirect consequences in non-EU countries. For example, the REACH Regulation requires both EU and non-EU producers of chemical substances to respect EU standards if they want to enter the EU market. Similarly, foreign airlines operating in the EU have been included in the EU emission trading system. In other instances, the EU has sought to directly influence the way environmental policy is shaped abroad. This is the case of the EU legal framework on FLEGT, which aims to ensure that only legally harvested timber is imported into the EU from African, Asian or Latin countries. Non-environmental EU legislation may also have an influence on environmental governance in non-EU countries. In the sector of financial services, Directive 2013/34/EC on annual financial statements now requires companies, which are active in the extractive industry, to disclose payments to governments in the countries in which they operate.

Florent Pelsy and Virginie Rouas currently work at Milieu, a legal consultancy based in Brussels. Milieu’s core competence originated in EU environmental law and has now extended to other policy areas, such as fundamental rights or public health. Milieu works closely with the EU institutions, other international organizations, and national authorities.  Florent Pelsy is a Senior Legal Advisor with extensive experience in the fields of energy, chemicals and environmental law. Virginie Rouas is a Legal Advisor working on environmental law and justice issues. She wrote her doctoral thesis on human rights and environmental litigation against multinational enterprises in Europe.

Both Florent and Virginie are former SOAS students.

Earlier Event: November 30
Global Food Fair - Hosted by LawSoc
Later Event: December 4
'DiversCity' LGBT Recruitment Event