This article examines the role of scientific knowledge in European environmental policy. However, it docs so with a wider interest in mind, namely the putative building of a European political culture. In order to do so it attempts to identify some underlying cultural dimensions of scientific discourses for policy - of standardization, comparability and objectivity. We analyse one case in detail, that of nature classification under the European CORINE1 environmental information system. We argue that some basic assumptions made in the construction of this environmental information system have implications not only for science and policy in the sphere of the environment, but for broader debates about identifications with European political culture.