Environmental News from the Netherlands
The latest bi-monthly publication from the environmental departments of the Dutch government focuses on EU applicant countries from Central and Eastern Europe.
Countries wanting to join the EU must not only have sound environmental legislation but also implement and enforce it. ‘Without these rules, the environment would probably be a sort of “luxury”. Now it is a precondition.’ The European Commission and the member states, including the Netherlands, are trying to get the countries concerned to make as much progress as possible in the shortest possible time.
What is to be done with 2700 tonnes of pesticides, stored carelessly, mostly in unlabelled, leaking packaging? This is one of the problems to which Bulgaria wants to find a solution now that it is close to joining the EU. The Netherlands is helping it to launch a major clean-up and is transporting many tonnes of this toxic waste into its territory in the hope that this will generate broader support.
For EU candidates, the importance attached to the environment is clear. Where assistance is required, the business community as well as the government is offering its services. Numerous consultancies and other companies are active in the promising markets of EU candidate countries. A look at their experiences and future expectations.
For many players in Central and Eastern Europe, including the growing number of NGOs, it was only natural to look to the west for support. A striking effect of the work done by the international organisation REC and the Dutch organisation Milieukontakt Oost-Europa is that the players in the countries concerned are actually finding one another: the ‘east-east connections’.
Eva Charkiewicz is a partner in Tools for Transition and policy research co-ordinator for the CEECAP-CEE Initiative for Sustainable Consumption and Production. She calls for genuine dialogue and two-way traffic in the exchange of policy proposals, knowledge and experience between the different worlds.
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