The communications of the Commission on environmental matters have become important guideposts for its ambitious yet complex reforms, starting with the 2019 Green Deal. This study proposes a systematic analysis of the functions of environmental communications based on data gathered from the EUR-lex database. All environmental communications dating back to 1999 were catalogued and their citations in other acts of Union bodies tallied to better understand the functions they have played and how their impact has evolved. Informative, interpretative and normative functions are analysed in the light of this data and specific cases. The data show that the impact of communications has increased significantly since 2018, especially those with ‘informative’ content: indeed, many of them also take on interpretative and normative functions. This growing role can be explained by their value in promoting the coherence of the Union’s legal order, as the Commission embarks on ambitious Green Deal reforms. This suggests that it may be incorrect to rule out the soft-law nature of this type of communication a priori.
Harris, M.E. (2023). The evolving functions of the Commission’s communications in environmental matters. IL DIRITTO DELL'UNIONE EUROPEA(2), 1-24.