Who cares about the environment? Europeans!
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EU membership had a revolutionary effect upon national environmental policies, primarily through requiring a shift in policy style and goals. The EU environmental policies pursued initially via the EU by the so-called environmental pioneers, i.e. Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, have introduced higher standards across all EU States as well as acting to prevent the weakening of environmental policies. Thus, today many of the most important national environmental policies and priorities are those that have emerged via the EU. However, the current and forthcoming environmental challenges, such as climate change, which have wide-ranging economic and social implications, call for a stronger and wider EU action.