(2003), "Accession countries need to try harder", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 4 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijshe.2003.24904cab.003Download as .RIS
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Accession countries need to try harder
The ten countries due to join the EU next year must turn their attention from adopting EU environment laws to implementing them.
The Commission estimates that prospective members have already transposed around 80 per cent of the EU’s 149 environmental laws. But observing them in practice would be a “tougher nut to crack,” Ms Margot Wallström, EU Environment Commissioner, has said. “It isn’t enough to have the laws on your books, you have to implement them”.
Upon accession the level of EU funds for environmental projects will rise three-fold as the new states become eligible for cohesion and structural funds, the commissioner added. But this would still fall well short of the total needed, which the Commission puts at 2-3 per cent of the accession countries’ GDP.
Six months before they officially join the EU the Commission will report on how well the accession states are implementing the bloc’s environmental laws. Ms Wallström underlined the importance of this assessment, hinting that it might even launch legal action against new members if this were warranted.