New paper by Dr Teresa Lappe-Osthege

Dr Teresa Lappe-Osthege has published a new Open Access paper on ‘The Ripple Effects of Compliance: Reconfiguring EU Policy Effectiveness in Transboundary Environmental Governance’ in Journal of Common Market Studies.

Teresa’s article explores the relationship between policy compliance and environmental harm by tracing what she terms the ‘ripple effects of compliance’, namely the externalisation of harms perpetuated by structural inequalities in EU environmental governance. Her analysis of the illegal bird trade from the Western Balkans into the EU demonstrates that crime displacement and institutional misfit can shed light on why key EU conservation policies which prioritise monitoring and enforcement are ineffective at responding to harms.


Research on EU policy effectiveness focuses on implementation and compliance within the EU; however, there is a need for a greater understanding of how and why transboundary socio-ecological issues challenge policy effectiveness beyond the EU’s borders. This article introduces the innovative concept of ‘ripple effects’ of compliance, which are harms perpetuated by structural inequalities, and discusses their implications for EU environmental governance. Contributing to transnational compliance research by integrating political ecology and green criminology, the analysis builds on qualitative data on the illegal bird trade from the Western Balkans into the EU. It demonstrates that compliance with conservation policies within Member States undermines EU policy objectives through crime displacement and institutional misfit, which externalise environmental harm to the Western Balkans. Increased enforcement and monitoring of policy implementation alone cannot function as a panacea for policy ineffectiveness. Addressing these dynamics requires strengthened multilevel and cross-jurisdictional governance that encompasses entire ecosystems.

You can read the full paper here.