Croatia – Environment
Candidate countries conduct negotiations with the European Union (EU) in order to prepare themselves for accession. The accession negotiations cover the adoption and implementation of European legislation (acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.
Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1326 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report indicates that the alignment with the acquis is nearly complete. However, in this final phase, additional effort must be made in the areas of water quality, environmental protection, risk management and climate change. The administrative capacity for action must be strengthened, including at local level.
EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission's words)
Union environmental policy is aimed at promoting sustainable development and protecting the environment for current and future generations. It is based on the integration of environmental protection into other Union policies, on preventive action, the ‘polluter pays’ principle, fighting environmental damage at source, and shared responsibility. The acquis comprises some 200 legal acts covering horizontal legislation, water and air pollution, the management of waste and chemical substances, biotechnology, nature conservation, pollution and industrial risk management, noise and radiation protection.
Compliance with the acquis will require major investment, but will also deliver significant advantages in terms of public health and a reduction in the cost of damage to forests, habitats, the countryside and fishing grounds. A strong and well-equipped administration at national, regional and local level is imperative for the application and enforcement of the environment acquis.
EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)
Good progress has been made in the environment chapter as regards both alignment and implementation of the legislation. Legislative alignment with regard to water quality, and to a certain extent, climate change must be concluded.
Horizontal implementation of the acquis and cooperation with non-governmental organisations which are active in the environment domain must be improved.
Overall, Croatia's preparations are nearing completion. Croatia needs to continue strengthening administrative capacity, especially at local level.
- Website of the Directorate General for Enlargement: Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports 2010