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Environmental protection and the limits of Cassis de Dijon 10 Introduction At beginning of the new millennium it is clear that the European Union is a recognisable global community with a comprehensive body of legislation norms and procedures and is set to remain in this way for the foreseeable future The Communitys influence on individual member states internal policies has become more evident and community integration is at the top of the agenda in order to promote and maintain the common market The community is founded on the principle of free trade As a result of this a large part of the communitys legislative and normative efforts go towards removing restrictions and barriers to trade Such restrictions may arise due to the disparity of individual member states legislation in certain areas Such an area is that of the protection of the environment Here restrictions arise from the implementation of regulatory policies by governments concerning for example safety and health issues and from voluntary standards adopted by domestic industries While not explicitly such legislation conflicts with the principle of the free movement of goods as different Member States seek to aspire to differing levels of environmental protection This essay seeks to identify how the Community has dealt with this conflict by a general enquiry into EU environmental policy and its relevance to the fundamental founding principle of free trade It will then go on to discuss advances in non-harmonised areas with special reference to the landmark European Court of Justice decision in Cassis de Dijon The Courts decision will be discussed with reference to its effect on environmental protection policy in relation to the free movement of goods Finally what may be considered the limits of the Cassis judgement will then be identified with a qualitative appraisal of whether the balance between free trade and environmental protection can be considered to have been successfully struck 20 Development of EU Environmental Policy
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