Under the Community method, policy is largely the by-product of actions undertaken to advance the integration process or to preserve institutional balance, rather than to solve concrete problems efficiently. The policy that eventually emerges is all too often the best bargain that can be negotiated politically. This chapter discusses some clear-cut cases of policy failure, such as the common fisheries and agricultural policies. EU environmental policy is shown to lack a clear rationale, and highly uncertain in its actual results. Risk regulation is a particularly interesting case. The central tenet of EU risk policy — the precautionary principle — is logically defective, tends to distort, rather than clarify regulatory priorities, and has isolated the EU internationally on several occasions.
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