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Weighting the politics of the environment in the new Europe

David L. Ellison ()
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David L. Ellison: Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

No 169, IWE Working Papers from Institute for World Economics - Centre for Economic and Regional Studies- Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Abstract: EU membership imposes significant environmental pressures on the New Member states (NMS’s). This paper questions whether top down imposition of EU environmental regulation is the best strategy for the environmental problems of Central and Eastern Europe. While the emissions’ record has greatly improved, it remains unclear how much of this is directly related to EU membership. Significant costs are attached to fulfilling EU environmental criteria while remarkably smaller amounts of funding come attached to the EU membership agreement. Top-down imposition of environmental objectives may divert attention from local, regional and state level environmental needs, preferences and priorities. Accepting the mantle of EU environmental policy means adopting a policy structure that, in many ways, is dominated by the interests and priorities of the large and more advanced EU Member states. The findings of this paper have significant implications for the lobbying activities of the NMS’s, for the weighting of the pollution burden in the New Europe and for future constitutional debates.

Keywords: EU membership; environmental regulation; CEE; pollution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006-08
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