Browsing by Subject "regulation"

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  • Metiäinen, Tiia (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Health related issues are largely regulated at EU Member State level, whereas areas such as internal market and competition fall mainly under the remit of European Union competence. This creates tension not only between legislation governing health and that concerning internal market but also between national and EU legislation. Here the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) plays a key role in developing case-law through its judgments, defining further interpretation both on European and national level. An example of a sector operating at the interphase between public health and internal market interests is community pharmacy, which was chosen as the focus area of the study. The aim of this master's thesis was, through the case-study example of the regulation of pharmacy establishment, ownership and distribution in EU Member States, to perform a documentary analysis on related CJEU judgments, focusing on statements present in them referring to public health and internal market, discussing potential impacts on the community pharmacy sector as well as relating the outcomes to the broader context of European health policy with reference to existing literature. The study material consisted of publicly available documentation related to four judgments (Case C-531/06, Joined Cases C-171/07 and C-172/07, Joined Cases C-570/07 and C-571/07 and Case C-367/12) that were made between the years 2009 and 2014, the first proceedings initiating in 2006. The prevalence and variety of statements related to public health were found to be much higher in the documents analysed compared to those relating to internal market. The most common argumentation present in the judgments was related to the statement that regulation of ownership of community pharmacies can be justified by public health reasons, deriving from the professionalism inherent to pharmacists as well as ensuring balance between public health and economic interests. This transmits a clear message of the importance of public health and indeed the Court has been perceived as a balancing force to the union's liberalisation agenda. Following this it seems unlikely that the interpretation for national regulation would change in the near future, meaning that Member States should be able to maintain community pharmacy regulation, to the extent that it is implemented in a consistent manner. However, there has been indication of other routes being used to push for the liberalisation agenda and therefore it continues being a part of the debate both at European and national level. The findings of this study support literature suggesting that spillover is taking place in relation to the Court of Justice and health. Furthermore, it has been clearly demonstrated that even though officially the EU has very limited competence (authority) in health, its influence on European health policy is in fact highly significant, taking place to a large extent via routes other than those officially assigned to it in relation to health in particular. Whether this is intentional or unintentional, it does not change the fact that health policy is being influenced. When it happens without explicit intention, the processes lose transparency and are driven by other, potentially competing agendas. Therefore it would be important to assess whether the decision making processes and other processes currently shaping the European healthcare policy are in line with what was originally intended and re-evaluate whether this dynamic is the preferred way to proceed in the future.
  • Tollenaere, C.; Pernechele, B.; Mäkinen, H. S.; Parratt, S. R.; Nemeth, M. Z.; Kovacs, G. M.; Kiss, L.; Tack, A. J. M.; Laine, A. -L. (2014)
  • Lerkkanen, Tuulia; Egerer, Michael; Alanko, Anna; Järvinen-Tassopoulos, Johanna; Hellman, Matilda (2020)
    This study fills a gap in gambling research by inquiring into the ways in which people make sense of their country's gambling policy as a comprehensive logic with interrelated facets. Nineteen focus group interviews were conducted with 88 persons in Helsinki, Finland. The interview protocol involved discussion stimuli and tasks. The study participants expressed the view that the public image and function of gambling provision involves a great deal of contradictory elements. Even though the existing monopoly system was given approval in terms of yielding funding to good causes, the interviewees were still critical of how the monopoly system worked when it comes to advertising, availability, and customer loyalty programs. A core dilemma identified was whether the system aims to prevent gambling-related problems or whether it does, in fact, promote gambling consumption. If skilfully executed, the study method can be fruitful for discerning core logical inconsistencies in the gambling regulation systems of other countries as well.
  • Westman, Hanna (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009)
    Economics and Society
    Banks are important as they have a central role in the financial system, where funds are channelled either through financial intermediaries, such as banks, or through financial markets, hence promoting growth in any economy. Recently, we have been reminded of the drawbacks of the central role of banks. The current financial crisis, which started out as a sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US, has become a global financial crisis with substantial impact on the real economy in many countries. Some of the roots to the current financial crisis can be sought in the changing role of banks and in bank corporate governance. Moreover, the substantial revitalising measures taken have been justified by the central role of banks. Not only are banks important, they are also very special. The fact that banks are regulated in conjunction with greater opacity, make bank corporate governance different from corporate governance in non-bank companies. Surprisingly little is, however, known about bank corporate governance, in particularly, in a European setting. Hence, the objective of this doctoral thesis is to provide new insights in this research area by examining banks from 37 different European countries. Each of the three essays included in the doctoral thesis examines a particular aspect of bank corporate governance. In the first essay the interaction between the regulatory environment a bank operates in and its ownership structure is explored. Indicators of the severity of the moral hazard problem induced by the deposit insurance system and implicit too-big-to-fail government guarantee, particular features of deposit insurance systems as well as legal protection of shareholders, legal origin of a country and level of integration to the European community are used in the analysis. The empirical findings confirm previous findings on the link between legal protection of shareholders and ownership structure. Moreover, they show that differences in deposit insurance system features can explain some of the differences in ownership structure across European banks. In the second essay the impact of management and board ownership on the profitability of banks with different strategy is examined. The empirical findings suggest that the efficiency of these two particular corporate governance mechanisms varies with the characteristics of the agency problem faced by the bank. More specifically, management ownership is important in opaque non-traditional banks, whereas board ownership is important in traditional banks, where deposit insurance reduces the monitoring incentives of outsiders. The higher profitability does, however, go together with higher risk. In the third essay the profitability and risk of commercial, savings and cooperative banks are compared. The empirical findings suggest that distinct operational and ownership characteristics rather than only the mere fact that a bank is a commercial, savings or cooperative bank explain the profitability and risk differences. The main insight from the three essays is that a number of different aspects should be addressed simultaneously in order to give the complexity of bank corporate governance justice.
  • Hillebrandt, Maarten Zbigniew; Huber, Michael (2020)
    Over the past decades, ‘governing by numbers’ has taken a flight in the higher education sector. Performance-based budgeting and quality assurance schemes orient universities to new objectives, while rankings have globalised the metrified observation of higher education at large. Where previously no indicators existed, they are being introduced; where indicators already existed, they are being standardised for purposes of comparison. This thematic issue aims to work towards a more comprehensive understanding of the growing diversity of quantification-based instruments in higher education sectors in three European countries. The effects of quantification are noticed at all levels of the higher education system, from policy makers at the top of the regulatory pyramid down to students and academic staff. Yet even quantifiers outside of the regulatory system, such as ranking and metrics organisations, may have an important bearing on the operation of the university organisation and the sector at large. Thus, an entire governance landscape emerges in which actors at various levels turn to numbers for guidance. The articles in this thematic issue analyse the life cycle of such numbers, from their origins, through to their production and finally, their consequences. This editorial outlines the central questions and overarching issues addressed by the thematic issue and introduces its various contributions.
  • Tåg, Joacim (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008)
    Economics and Society
    The growth of the information economy has been stellar in the last decade. General-purpose technologies such as the computer and the Internet have promoted productivity growth in a large number of industries. The effect on telecommunications, media and technology industries has been particularly strong. These industries include mobile telecommunications, printing and publishing, broadcasting, software, hardware and Internet services. There have been large structural changes, which have led to new questions on business strategies, regulation and policy. This thesis focuses on four such questions and answers them by extending the theoretical literature on platforms. The questions (with short answers) are: (i) Do we need to regulate how Internet service providers discriminate between content providers? (Yes.) (ii) What are the welfare effects of allowing consumers to pay to remove advertisements from advertisement-supported products?(Ambiguous, but those watching ads are worse off.) (iii) Why are some markets characterized by open platforms, extendable by third parties, and some by closed platforms, which are not extendable? (It is a trade-off between intensified competition for consumers and benefits from third parties) (iv) Do private platform providers allow third parties to access their platform when it is socially desirable? (No.)
  • Lähteenmäki-Uutela, Anu; Rahikainen, Moona; Camarena-Gómez, María Teresa; Piiparinen, Jonna; Spilling, Kristian; Yang, Baoru (Springer Nature, 2021)
    Aquaculture International 29 (2021), 487–509
    Macroalgae-based products are increasing in demand also in Europe. In the European Union, each category of macroalgae-based products is regulated separately. We discuss EU legislation, including the law on medicinal products, foods including food supplements and food additives, feed and feed additives, cosmetics, packaging materials, fertilizers and biostimulants, as well as biofuels. Product safety and consumer protection are the priorities with any new products. Macroalgae products can be sold as traditional herbal medicines. The novel food regulation applies to macroalgae foods that have not previously been used as food, and organic macroalgae are a specific regulatory category. The maximum levels of heavy metals may be a barrier for macroalgae foods, feeds, and fertilizers. Getting health claims approved for foods based on macroalgae is demanding. In addition to the rules on products, the macroalgae business is strongly impacted by the elements of the general regulatory environment such as agricultural/aquacultural subsidies, maritime spatial planning and aquaculture licensing, public procurement criteria, tax schemes, and trade agreements.
  • Baral, Bikash (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Phytopathogens, notably Heterobasidion annosum, evolved several strategical combinations to infect and subsequently colonize their host even under different stress conditions. Fungal ABC transporters are well-known defenses that can confer resistance against host-secreted secondary metabolites by transporting them outside of the fungal cells and thus keeping their intracellular concentration low. Here, we aim to unveil the evolutionary trajectories of total ABC transporters-encoding genes in Heterobasidion annosum. The gene expression pattern was monitored with the fungus subjected to different chemical stressors and during fungal growth on wood. We identified 32 putative ABC protein-encoding genes in the Heterobasidion genome. Altogether 20 putative ABC transporter-encoding genes of H. annosum were further analyzed and it was revealed that several genes were either up or downregulated, while some were not differentially expressed under the experimental conditions. The results obtained from the gene expression analysis revealed that an ABC gene (annotated as Ha.ABC-G1 or Hetan_66124), was highly up-regulated in most conditions. This particular transporter-encoding gene (Hetan_66124) with induction level of up to 47 –fold (in heartwood and similar levels in other conditions) was traced, PCR amplified, cloned in Escherichia coli and expression of recombinant protein performed using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as platform. Several experiments aiming to dissect functional roles of this hypothetical protein were performed. The growth of the yeast transformant over expressing the recombinant ABC protein in different terpenoids and weak organic acids were monitored. The growth rate of clones with and without transporters were not significantly different when cultured in plates (SC·gal-ura-) that were exposed to the volatile compounds (limonene, carene and ?-pinene). Based on our findings, we concluded that the yeast transformants carrying the H. annosum ABC-G1 transporter encoding gene do not show increased resistance or tolerance against the monoterpenes. The results of the transcript profiling have further contributed to our understanding about gene expression during fungal colonization upon exposure to chemical stressors. However, further studies are needed in order to specifically unveil the functional roles of these efflux pumps that underlie their transport mechanism with response to the host secreted secondary metabolites.
  • Lundahl, Outi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Moral panics are instances of public anxiety in response to a problem regarded as threatening the moral standards of society. Extant literature on moral panics has then tended to focus on individual deviants. In contrast, this study focuses on a moral panic where the morally objectionable actor is an entire industry which is portrayed as having intentionally manufactured the societal problem for their own personal gain. Thus, this study investigates how does the media create a moral panic around an industry? The context of this study is social media addiction. In order to answer this research question, a longitudinal, mixed methods media analysis of British newspapers in 2015–2019 is conducted. The constructivist media frame analysis then shows that while previously social media addiction was seen as an individual disorder, media then framed social media addiction as a manufactured epidemic. Thus, the study shows that a moral panic around social media addiction was created and that there were increased calls for regulation of the industry. However, it also that as these calls were seen as being responded to by the government, the moral panic dissipated. In addition, an automated text mining analysis also shows that, contrary to extant literature, the media framing does not rely on increasingly emotional rhetoric. The study then firstly contributes to extant literature on moral panics by showing how an industry, instead of groups of individuals, can become seen as the “folk devil”. This happens through powerful metaphors which are formed around social media companies. This can have considerable implications for the industry as even if this particular moral panic around social media addiction may remain short-lived, it may prove to be only one wave in the so-called spiral of signification, in other words, the increasing anxiety towards the social media industry. Secondly, the study also contributes to the understanding of emotions in a moral panic by showing that moral panics do not necessitate increased emotional rhetoric in the media framing. The study concludes with a discussion of the implications of the recent public policy measures in the UK.
  • Belinskij, Antti; Iho, Antti; Paloniitty née Korvela, Tiina; Soininen, Niko (2019)
    Animal agriculture is shifting toward larger farms and regional agglomerations in many countries. In step with this development, manure nutrients have started accumulating regionally, and are leading to increasing eutrophication problems. Nevertheless, the same trend may also prompt innovations in manure treatment. For example, Valio Ltd (the largest dairy processer in Finland) is planning a network of facilities that would remove water from manure, fraction the nutrients in it, and produce biogas from the excess methane. One of the main hurdles in developing this technology is that the current regulatory framework does not support a shift from diffuse loading, which is seen in the traditional application of manure on fields, to point-source loading; the regulations may even prevent such a change. This article analyzes a governance framework that addresses this dilemma in EU–Finland, and discusses how the governance described could curtail the nutrient loading of agriculture to waters. The approach is based on adaptive governance theory. We argue that traditional top–down regulation, which emphasizes food security, contains serious shortcomings when it comes to managing agricultural nutrient loading to waters, and that the current regulatory framework does not necessarily have the adaptive capacity to facilitate new, bottom–up solutions for manure treatment. Interestingly, the strict water quality requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) open new windows of opportunity for such solutions, and thus for improving the overall sustainability of animal agriculture.
  • Daly, Paul; Peng, Mao; Di Falco, Marcos; Lipzen, Anna; Wang, Mei; Ng, Vivian; Grigoriev, Igor; Tsang, Adrian; Makela, Miia R.; de Vries, Ronald P. (2019)
    The extent of carbon catabolite repression (CCR) at a global level is unknown in wood-rotting fungi, which are critical to the carbon cycle and are a source of biotechnological enzymes. CCR occurs in the presence of sufficient concentrations of easily metabolizable carbon sources (e.g., glucose) and involves downregulation of the expression of genes encoding enzymes involved in the breakdown of complex carbon sources. We investigated this phenomenon in the white-rot fungus Dichomitus squalens using transcriptomics and exoproteomics. In D. squalens cultures, approximately 7% of genes were repressed in the presence of glucose compared to Avicel or xylan alone. The glucose-repressed genes included the essential components for utilization of plant biomass-carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZyme) and carbon catabolic genes. The majority of polysaccharide-degrading CAZyme genes were repressed and included activities toward all major carbohydrate polymers present in plant cell walls, while repression of ligninolytic genes also occurred. The transcriptome-level repression of the CAZyme genes observed on the Avicel cultures was strongly supported by exoproteomics. Protease-encoding genes were generally not glucose repressed, indicating their likely dominant role in scavenging for nitrogen rather than carbon. The extent of CCR is surprising, given that D. squalens rarely experiences high free sugar concentrations in its woody environment, and it indicates that biotechnological use of D. squalens for modification of plant biomass would benefit from derepressed or constitutively CAZyme-expressing strains. IMPORTANCE White-rot fungi are critical to the carbon cycle because they can mineralize all wood components using enzymes that also have biotechnological potential. The occurrence of carbon catabolite repression (CCR) in white-rot fungi is poorly understood. Previously, CCR in wood-rotting fungi has only been demonstrated for a small number of genes. We demonstrated widespread glucose-mediated CCR of plant biomass utilization in the white-rot fungus Dichomitus squalens. This indicates that the CCR mechanism has been largely retained even though wood-rotting fungi rarely experience commonly considered CCR conditions in their woody environment. The general lack of repression of genes encoding proteases along with the reduction in secreted CAZymes during CCR suggested that the retention of CCR may be connected with the need to conserve nitrogen use during growth on nitrogen-scarce wood. The widespread repression indicates that derepressed strains could be beneficial for enzyme production.
    Background and aims: Loot boxes are in-game items which distribute rewards to players via random -number generation; many games require players to make in-game payments to access their contents. The combination of financial outlay and random rewards has raised concern about similarities to gambling. This debate paper presents a series of themes identified by an inter-institutional working group in Finland, alongside suggested actions, and are presented with the intention of stimulating debate among stakeholders. Methods: This work uses an exploratory research approach to gather data from a range of sources, including state-of-the-art reports from several fields and qualitative content analysis of invited presentations from a range of stakeholders, including affected individuals, practi-tioners, and field-specific experts. Results and Discussion: Several significant themes emerged from the work and are presented alongside a series of proposed action points. Based on this preliminary exploration we propose a series of, non-exhaustive, actions for both primary and secondary prevention. Furthermore, the group identified the potential for responsible gaming practices to be adopted which would help to minimize the harm from overspending in gaming activities. Finally, we identified the need for further research in the field, for example the use of player data and both longitudinal and qualitative studies. Conclusions: The emergent themes are discussed in relation to both the views of the presenters and existing research in the field and are intended to promote discussion concerning the viability of context-specific approaches to an issue of global reach and significance.
    Background and aims: Loot boxes are in-game items which distribute rewards to players via random -number generation; many games require players to make in-game payments to access their contents. The combination of financial outlay and random rewards has raised concern about similarities to gambling. This debate paper presents a series of themes identified by an inter-institutional working group in Finland, alongside suggested actions, and are presented with the intention of stimulating debate among stakeholders. Methods: This work uses an exploratory research approach to gather data from a range of sources, including state-of-the-art reports from several fields and qualitative content analysis of invited presentations from a range of stakeholders, including affected individuals, practi-tioners, and field-specific experts. Results and Discussion: Several significant themes emerged from the work and are presented alongside a series of proposed action points. Based on this preliminary exploration we propose a series of, non-exhaustive, actions for both primary and secondary prevention. Furthermore, the group identified the potential for responsible gaming practices to be adopted which would help to minimize the harm from overspending in gaming activities. Finally, we identified the need for further research in the field, for example the use of player data and both longitudinal and qualitative studies. Conclusions: The emergent themes are discussed in relation to both the views of the presenters and existing research in the field and are intended to promote discussion concerning the viability of context-specific approaches to an issue of global reach and significance.
  • Nylén, Erkki-Jussi Antero; Salminen, Jani Markus (2019)
    Resources, Conservation and Recycling 149 (2019), 532-540
    Since entering the waste policy debate in the 1980s, the sustainability discourse has sought to find alternatives to end-of-pipe solutions. The latest development on this path is the emergence of the circular economy, which aims to close the loop of the current linear economy. This case study analyses a substantial Finnish waste policy reform that has been underway since the late 1990s. The objective of the reform has been to create a decree that streamlines waste utilisation in earthworks. The decree was prepared between 2000 and 2006, and then reformed between 2015 and 2018. We analysed the discursive spaces of both phases and compared them to interpret the changes in the discourse of waste policy. The discursive space in the preparation phase was structured by the tension between the discourses of resource efficiency and precaution, but in the reform, the emergence of the circular economy diversified the discursive space. The thinking regarding the circular economy has added complexity, competition, and struggle to waste policy, but also enhanced the role of upcycling.
  • Biggs, Simon; Carr, Ashley (2019)
    Objective To explore how Australian residential dementia aged care providers respond to regulation via organisational culture, level, processes and interpretation. Methods Observation took place in three provider organisations. Qualitative, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with aged care staff (n = 60) at three different levels of each organisation: senior management from three head offices (n = 17), facility management (n = 13) and personal care workers (n = 30) from eight residential care facilities. Results Orientations towards regulation included the following: "above and beyond;" "pushing back;" and "engineering out." Regulation was interpreted differently depending on the level of authority within an organisation where boundaries were managed according to strategic, operational and interactional priorities. Discussion Examining regulation within an organisational context and at different staff levels suggests ways to balance dementia care with regulatory control. Both generate stress, mitigated by culture and interdependent role differentiation.
  • Alaranta, Joonas; Turunen, Topi (Oxford University Press, 2020)
    Journal of Environmental Law, Volume 33, Issue 1, March 2021, Pages 113–136
    This article discusses the regulation of ‘substances of concern’ in the circular economy (CE) in the European Union (EU). It analyses the tensions and obstacles that the present sectoral separation of waste, product and chemicals legislation sets for the development of the CE. We argue that in a longer term perspective the aim should be to erase the border between waste and chemicals regulation and create a single regime for the regulation of materials and their flow. However, the eventual aim of such non-toxic material circulation can be achieved only via precautious transitional measures that outweigh the costs and benefits of each material flow and set restrictions for the particular substances of concern. Regulatory actions addressing the risks posed by the substances of concern in the waste-based material flows are urgently needed. New measures are necessary to protect human health and the environment and to support the development of the markets for the secondary materials.
  • Mustajoki, Jyri; Marttunen, Mika (Elsevier, 2019)
    EURO Journal on Decision Processes 7, issues 3–4 (2019), pages 359-386
    Resilience management aims to increase the ability of the system to respond to adverse events. In this study, we develop and apply a structured framework for assessing the resilience of the decision-making process related to reservoir (or lake) regulation with the resilience matrix approach. Our study area is Finland, where the initiatives for the regulation have typically been hydro power production or flood prevention, but nowadays recreational and environmental issues are also increasingly considered. The main objectives of this study are twofold. First, it aims to provide support for reservoir operators and supervisors of the water course regulation projects in their work for identifying the possible threats and actions to diminish their consequences. Second, it studies the applicability of the resilience matrix approach in a quite specifically defined operational process, as most of the earlier applications have focused on a more general context. Our resilience matrix was developed in close co-operation with reservoir operators and supervisors of regulation by means of two workshops and a survey. For the practical application of the matrix, we created an evaluation form for assessing the resilience of a single dam operation process and for evaluating the cost efficiency of the actions identified to improve the resilience. The approach was tested on a dam controlling the water level of a middle-sized lake, where it proved to be a competent way to systematically assess resilience.
  • Lopez, Sara Casado; Peng, Mao; Issak, Tedros Yonatan; Daly, Paul; de Vries, Ronald P.; Mäkelä, Miia R. (2018)
    Fungi can decompose plant biomass into small oligo-and monosaccharides to be used as carbon sources. Some of these small molecules may induce metabolic pathways and the production of extracellular enzymes targeted for degradation of plant cell wall polymers. Despite extensive studies in ascomycete fungi, little is known about the nature of inducers for the lignocellulolytic systems of basidiomycetes. In this study, we analyzed six sugars known to induce the expression of lignocellulolytic genes in ascomycetes for their role as inducers in the basidiomycete white-rot fungus Dichomitus squalens using a transcriptomic approach. This identified cellobiose and L-rhamnose as the main inducers of cellulolytic and pectinolytic genes, respectively, of D. squalens. Our results also identified differences in gene expression patterns between dikaryotic and monokaryotic strains of D. squalens cultivated on plant biomass-derived monosaccharides and the disaccharide cellobiose. This suggests that despite conservation of the induction between these two genetic forms of D. squalens, the fine-tuning in the gene regulation of lignocellulose conversion is differently organized in these strains. IMPORTANCE Wood-decomposing basidiomycete fungi have a major role in the global carbon cycle and are promising candidates for lignocellulosic biorefinery applications. However, information on which components trigger enzyme production is currently lacking, which is crucial for the efficient use of these fungi in biotechnology. In this study, transcriptomes of the white-rot fungus Dichomitus squalens from plant biomass-derived monosaccharide and cellobiose cultures were studied to identify compounds that induce the expression of genes involved in plant biomass degradation.
  • Marionneau, Virve (2015)
    AIMS - The principles of free trade and free circulation of services within the European Union have created pressures to make the strictly controlled European gambling markets more open. According to the Court of Justice of the European Union, restrictions on gambling are only allowed if they are justified in admissible terms of consumer protection, prevention of criminal activity and protection of public order. This study compares the gambling laws of two European societies, France and Finland, to analyse how their legal frames of gambling have been adjusted to these principles. DESIGN - The data consists of up-to-date legislation on gambling in Finland and France. A qualitative analysis was conducted to study whether new ways of justifying have been included in legislative texts and if these are substantiated by measures related to consumer protection or crime prevention. RESULTS - France has mainly justified its restrictive policies on gambling in terms of preventing criminal activities while the Finnish legislation highlights the charitable causes funded by gambling proceeds, a claim not accepted by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Consumer protection is increasingly stressed in both countries, and the range of rationales has also grown notably since 2007. CONCLUSION - While the vocabularies of justification accepted by the CJEU have expanded since 2007, these have not been substantiated by many new legislative measures. This is not attributed to political ill will but rather to the difficulty of changing existing legislative traditions.
  • Reskalenko, Aleksandra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Despite public campaigns demonstrating the global fashion industry’s sustainability efforts to address climate change, the industry is still largely behind the needed systemic change to remain on the 1.5-degree pathway. Its sizeable contribution to climate change, such as the estimated 10% share of the global total of greenhouse-gas emissions in 2017, is only anticipated to increase, due to growing population and consumption patterns. The concept of decoupling economic growth from material resource use as a path towards sustainability becomes especially contradictory when faced with the fashion industry’s linear business and fast fashion models. This thesis examines how the systemic change of the fashion industry is perceived, and how the industry’s linear business model and its contradictions with the concept of decoupling can be addressed through regulatory measures, especially in the case of European Union (EU) policies on fashion. The thesis analyses the framework for systemic change in the fashion industry through the case of the EU and its preparation for the EU Strategy for Textiles (2021) and the Sustainable Products Initiative (2021), including their preparatory policy materials, such as roadmaps and discussion papers by the European Union and its respective agencies. The document data is triangulated with semi-structured expert interviews, and the data is analysed using qualitative content analysis. Based on the analysis, EU policy perceives systemic change of the fashion industry primarily as a transition to a circular economy model, where it is presented as a win-win situation for both environment and economy. Despite these ambitious aims, there is still reliance that there are no limits to growth. The study finds that this promise of ever-increasing economic growth within planetary boundaries is materially contradictory. In fact, the study suggests that the system of capital accumulation and its adherence to the material growth of economies is the main impediment for systemic change. The evidence indicates that this contradiction is deeply embedded, highly complex, and global in scope, with numerous obstacles, if it is to be overcome. Yet, some elements in the EU process show a desire to attempt to address these problems and radically alter the structure and operations of the fashion industry. The study finds that by reflecting the true costs of environmental and climate harms, as well as human rights, by increasing the criteria and obligations for the fashion industry actors, the problem of overproduction and overconsumption may be addressed.