Many authors have identified three distinct phases in the evolution of EU environmental policy: 1958–1987 (foundational period); 1987–1992 (‘golden era’); and 1992–present (weakening environmental policy dynamics).
This chapter notes that these three phases dovetail with the key phases in the development of EU nature conservation policy/law: the Birds Directive (1979) was negotiated and adopted during the first phase; the Habitats Directive (1992) was negotiated and adopted during the second phase, when the policy and institutional dynamics were arguably at their strongest; and the Birds and Habitats Directives have both fallen to be implemented largely within the third phase, characterised by a weaker environmental policy landscape.
The chapter discusses in detail the first of the three identified phases in the evolution of EU environmental policy (the foundational period from 1958 to 1987), including the roles of key individuals and the establishment of key institutions and policies.
A general introduction to bird conservation policy in Europe is then provided, followed by a detailed discussion of the development of an EU directive on bird conservation from the idea’s origins in the late 1960s to the drafting of the instrument in the mid-1970s. The roles of key individuals – including Claus Stuffmann, John Temple Lang, and Alistair Gammell – and other significant actors are discussed.