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Caroline's Biography

Dr Caroline Jackson is an expert and consultant on EU environment policy, specialising in waste management. Building on her knowledge of the EU institutions, acquired over 25 years as a Member of the European Parliament, she has put together a number of reports on EU environment policy, and is a frequent speaker at conferences on the recent history and future prospects of EU policies on waste and other environmental topics. She is particularly interested in the promotion of better overall compliance with EU law and regards present failures to secure good compliance as a threat to the coherence and reputation of the EU – and to the environment.


Caroline Jackson served as a Conservative MEP from 1984 to 1999, representing Wiltshire North and Bath, and from 1999 to 2009 as one of the Conservative MEPs for the South West of England ( )


From 1999 to 2004 she was Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety – one of the largest and busiest of the legislative committees of the Parliament ( ). It was pointed out that at that time she was ‘the most powerful Conservative in Europe’, since she had much more power to decide the environmental agenda than Opposition spokesmen in London. Legislation passed during her chairmanship included the proposals on the control of chemicals (the REACH programme) and the first producer responsibility directives concerning waste.


She acted as rapporteur on the Landfill Directive in 1998 and on the Waste Framework Directive in 2008. She also steered through the Parliament the first directive on the protection of animals used in experiments, and directives on product safety, food additives, and better protection for package tourists.


Outside the Parliament she is Chairman of the Institute for European Environment Policy, which has offices in London and Brussels ( She is also a member of the Advisory Board of SITA UK plc ( ).  


She was born in 1946 in Penzance, Cornwall, and educated in Penzance and at St Hugh's College and Nuffield College Oxford. She studied Classics and History and holds an Oxford Doctorate in Philosophy with a thesis on 19th century politics. She is a former research Fellow of St Hugh's College.  She is married to Robert Jackson, former MP for Wantage and Minister for Higher Education. Outside politics her main interests are music, gardening and walking the long distance footpaths of England.  

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