linked to economic policy-making, and land use planning needed a strong local base.
In addition to their independent development, these institutions tended to reflect political and administrative traditions of the respective country. Bureaucracies in different countries, while exhibiting well-known structural similarities, also reflect characteristic differences determined by history, the constitutional framework, and the educational system. As a result, essentially similar administrative procedures as basic as the issuance of identity papers or the description of factual information are undertaken in a distinctive manner in different countries. Permits with equivalent effect will tend to be structured differently, rendering comparison difficult.4
One of the major innovations inherent in the concept of "environmental policy" is the recognition of linkages that exist between seemingly disparate policy areas and of the fact that their joint management is a condition of success in each of them. This requires close coordination between the existing areas and new issues such as air pollution, toxic substances control, waste management, or global phenomena such as climate change.
In most countries, environmental agencies were formed in several stages, and certain aspects of environmental policy are frequently still managed outside the environmental agency. In the United States, for example, marine pollution is in the Commerce Department, nature protection in the Department of the Interior, and there are no land use planning functions at the federal and few at state level; in Germany, marine pollution is in the Ministry of Transport and new chemicals must be notified to a unit attached to the Ministry of Labor, while land use planning is the responsibility of a third ministry; in the Netherlands, water quality is handled by the environmental authorities but all other aspects of water management by the Ministry of Transport. In Japan, the Ministry for Industry and Trade (MITI) plays a central role in most aspects of environmental policy that concern industrial production. There exists no universally recognized definition of the responsibilities that need to be assigned to a ministry to qualify it as "environmental." Frequently, the name preceded the reality of administrative authority as it is easier to identify the issues that need attention than to reorganize the structure of government.
The natural environment varies from region to region. To the extent that environmental policies are designed to achieve certain environmental outcomes, they may be expected to be different from one region to the next. In economic terms, these differences appear as elements of comparative advantage. In other words, a company producing in Ireland with emissions primarily to the open ocean should face less stringent environmental controls than a company producing in the Ruhr region whose emissions affect densely populated regions, sensitive