This thesis explores environmental regulation in the European Union (EU) before and after the financial and sovereign-debt crises in Europe. I examine whether the environmental ambition of new EU legislation after the crisis has fallen, and assess the normativity of EU dedication to environmental norms with Ian Manners’ concept of Normative Power Europe as a theoretical foundation. Dual methodology is used: Process-tracing of six cases provides context and depth to answer these questions, while a content analysis of the same cases quantifies the development of each law from proposal to final act. The results, while not entirely unambiguous, clearly suggest that the ambition of EU environmental regulation has fallen since the sovereign-debt crisis. I discuss possible reasons for this development, including the alliance of industry and business interests with EU institutions in an economy short on jobs and funds. These results contradict a conceptualization of the EU as an especially normative actor on environmental issues. The fact that environment today does appear to be «a luxury no longer affordable», suggests that the Normative Power Europe theory needs to be refined and clarified. Additionally, it indicates that EU holds no particular normative commitment to the norm of sustainability.