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G-FORS Governance for Sustainability: National Report Sweden

Magazine article
Authors Folke Johansson
Birgitta Niklasson
Ylva Norén Bretzer
Marcia Grimes
Published in http://www.gfors.eu/58.0.html
Publication year 2008
Published at School of Public Administration
Department of Political Science
Language en
Links www.gfors.eu/fileadmin/download/nat...
Keywords PM10, implementation, air quality directive, SEA directive
Subject categories Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies), Sociology, Social Sciences

Abstract

Summary: the SEA Case The Swedish SEA case is a study of the implementation of the EU-directive 2001/42/EC in Göteborg. The study is focusing on Göteborg municipality’s strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of its comprehensive land use plan, ÖPXX. There are several reasons why this particular case is suitable as a part of the GFORS-project. First, the SEA in Göteborg is not finished, but is still under development. This facilitates the collection of empirical data regarding reflexive knowledge, since reflexive knowledge is a fleeting phenomenon that does not usually last over an extended period of time. The case is also suitable because it may be considered a critical case. The study employs process-tracing and builds on a number of different methodological approaches: document studies, interviews, and participating observation of relevant meetings. This combination of methods allows for an analysis of the governance mode and the degree to which reflexive knowledge has been generated throughout the process. The results indicate that the Swedish SEA is developed mainly through a hierarchical governance mode, even though there are elements of networks and markets. There are signs of reflexive knowledge occurring, in the work process as well as in the SEA document. The accumulation of reflexive knowledge does not seem to be correlated with any specific governance mode, however. To conclude, it is quite possible that the Swedish SEA promotes a sustainable development; it is largely comprehensive, well aggregated, and consistent. Also, there have not been any major legitimacy problems during the SEA process. G-FORS National Reports: Sweden Summary: The Particulate Matter Case The Air Quality Framework Directive from 1996 and the following updates has been implemented into the Swedish Environmental Code (SFS 1998:808) as well as the Environmental Quality Norms, EQN (prop. 2000/01:130 and prop. 2004/05:150) and the ordinance on Environmental Quality Norms on Outdoor Air (SFS 2001:527). The areas most affected by PM10 emissions are the three largest cities Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö (in the order of size), and the efforts to control the PM matters have primarily been centered around the establishment around a Measurement Program in order to control and reduce the emissions. As Stockholm was experimenting with a new system with car-congestion fees in 2006, we decided that it would be unwise to select this case for a closer study, as the Stockholm case was too interwoven into governmental bargaining politics, and regional future planning politics. Malmö was also less suitable for selection, as a great deal of its emissions originates from long-distance emissions. Gothenburg was more of an ideal-case, according to the national judicial description of the problem as well as the solutions. PM10 levels started to be measured in Gothenburg at the early 1990s, and soon it was realized that several places exceeded the EQNs. The National Environmental Protection Agency, SEPA, decided that a Measurement Program should be produced by the municipality of Göteborg. Such a program was deliberated and handed into the SEPA by June 2003, but it was rejected as several of the measures were not within the municipal mandate (such as a ban on studded tires and car-tolls). In 2006, the government demanded a new version of the Measurement Program, which finally was settled in May 2006. The action arenas are of a hierarchical multi-level character, where the Government acts through a) the Ministry of Environment, b) the SEPA, and c) the County Administration of Västra Götaland. The local level acts primarily through the municipality of Gothenburg, but in close collaboration with the neighboring municipalities and the County Administration. The actors involved have primarily been bureaucrats at various levels, and politicians to a lesser extent. Representatives for voluntary organizations have been close to totally absent, a few consultants have participated in the process, but primarily as deliverers of data rather than as policy makers. Even when the media discusses the PM emissions, they rather echo the decisions taken by the administrative authorities, rather than echoing any opinion movement. Knowledge does anyhow feed into the process through the bureaucrats at all levels; they pay attention to various types of reports produced in other municipalities as well as by national and international researchers.

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