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The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – 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.

ACT

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1230 - Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report from the European Commission highlights progress concerning alignment with the acquis on environmental policy matters. However, it regrets to report weaknesses with regard to climate change matters.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

European environment policy aims to promote sustainable development and protect the environment for present and future generations. It is based on the integration of environmental protection into other European policies, preventive action, the polluter pays principle, fighting environmental damage at source and shared responsibility. The acquis comprises over 200 legal acts covering horizontal legislation, water and air pollution, management of waste and chemicals, biotechnology, nature protection, industrial pollution and risk management, and noise.

Ensuring compliance with the acquis requires significant investment, but also brings significant benefits for public health and reduces costly damage to forests, buildings, landscapes and fisheries. 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)

Some progress can be reported in the field of the environment, especially as regards transposing the EU acquis into national legislation and in ratifying multilateral environmental agreements. Significant efforts to implement the national legislation are required especially in the areas of water management and industrial pollution control.

Regarding climate change , little progress has been made on aligning with and implementing the EU climate change acquis. Further efforts are required to strengthen institutional capacities and inter-institutionalcooperation.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 - Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report highlights that the level of preparedness of the country remains limited, even though progress has been made in the areas of air quality and waste management. The state of progress remains inadequate concerning adapting to climate change, nature protection, industrial pollution and risk management.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 – SEC(2008) 2699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In its 2008 report, the Commission outlined the limited progress made on the protection and monitoring of the environment. The legislative framework had to be developed with particular attention paid to horizontal environmental legislation and to waste management. The planned investments were deemed to be insufficient to adequately prepare the country for environmental challenges. The country had not drafted a strategy for adopting and implementing the Community acquis.

Last updated: 20.12.2011

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