Although the EU has arguably one of the most progressive environmental policies in the world, the process of integrating environmental considerations into the wider fabric of European policy has been an extended one (Jordan, 2002). Environmental matters were ignored completely in the founding treaties of the European Economic Community (EEC) and were only formally incorporated into the EU's remit in the Single European Act (SEA) in 1986 (Blacksell, 1994). However, the first moves towards a European environmental policy began as early as 1972, following the United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. The conference was inspired by popular concerns about the state of the global environmental as well as influential studies such as the Limits to Growth report, which suggested that a combination of pollution, population growth and the exhaustion of natural resources was in danger of precipitating widespread environmental collapse (Ehrlich, 1971; Meadows et al., 1972). Such dark prophesies and the UN conference's conclusions persuaded many European politicians that co-ordinated action was required to address common environmental problems and in 1973 the EU launched the first of a series of Environmental Action Programmes (EAPs).