• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

On balance, is the EU's enlargement likely to have a positive or negative effecton the quality of the European environment?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

On balance, is the EU's enlargement likely to have a positive or negative effect on the quality of the European environment? As part of the accession process to create the enlarged European Union, applicants will have to adopt all existing EU environmental legislation, which on the most part is much more meticulous than anything already existing in the applicant countries. The thesis of this essay is that these stricter environmental rules and standards will improve the quality of air and water and have a massive positive effect on public health in the candidate countries. They will render the management of waste more efficient and protect areas of special natural value. Less transboundary pollution in the air and in the waterways will mean cleaner environment not only for the candidate countries, but also for the current Member States. Thus in a very direct way, implementing EU environmental directives in the candidate countries will benefit all Europeans and the environment in which they live. Furthermore the prospect of enlargement has also forced existing Member States to adapt its own environmental policy to make it more environmentally friendly, which is also to the benefit of Europe. The EU formally launched the enlargement process in March 1998, and negotiations regarding the environment were opened in 1999. Even before official opening, most candidates had started to prepare for accession by transposing the EU environmental laws into national law, although rarely in a systematic way. By the end of 2001 the accession negotiations on the environment were provisionally concluded with nine countries - Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. ...read more.

Middle

The sixth Environmental Action Programme has been a major basis of the EU strategy for sustainable development. The sustainability strategy means that ecological issues will be given the same weight as social and economic issues when formulating polices for the future. Environmental aspects will be weighed into all proposals drawn up within the major policy areas of the EU. Every year, at the annual summit, the EU heads of state and government will follow up the course and progress of work on the strategy for sustainable development. The new sustainability strategy will concentrate on four themes: climate, transport, public health and natural resources. Therefore the prospect of European enlargement has forced the existing member states to formalise and agree on a universal environmental policy which will enable it to encourage an increased pro-environment policy in applicant countries. This is due to an increased awareness in the last fifteen years that because the environment is trans-boundary. Major disasters such as Chernobyl have made European countries realise that a good domestic environmental policy is not good enough if its neighbours do not follow a similarly good policy as environmental damage caused by one state will affect the environment of another. A prime example of this has been the case of acid rain in Scandinavia, where polluted wind from the UK and Western Europe has caused serious environmental problems for the people and the environment of Scandinavia. Planned EU enlargement has forced the present Member States to adapt their environment policy and improve its environmental record which will have a positive impact on the European environment. ...read more.

Conclusion

Andreas Beckmann, EU Accession Coordinator for the environmental organisation WWF has warned that "At the moment, we seem bent on encouraging, and even forcing, the accession countries to repeat our own past mistakes." (1) Beckmann argues that the way the structural and cohesion fund is being used in acceding countries will be incredibly damaging to the European environment. Beckmann argues that the EU is sponsoring a similar form of development in countries such as Poland and Hungary as they did in Greece and Spain which included massive road construction subsidized by the EU taxpayer and hugely damaging to the environment. Among the controversial and potentially environmentally damaging plans in acceding countries is a highway going straight through Poland's Biebrza National Park and the development of a canal linking the Danube with the Oder and Elbe rivers. In conclusion, the enlargement of the European Union will have a positive effect for both existing members and future members. For the first time in European history, the majority of Europe will work under one environmental policy which will be one of the strictest and most environmentally friendly policies the world has ever seen. This is not to say that massive improvements will be immediate or that mistakes won't be made in the lengthy process, however the greatest impact European enlargement will have on the environment is that the environment will rank as equally as important as economic and social policy across the European continent, which will force the environment to be treated properly and with the respect that it deserves which can only be of benefit to the people of Europe. FOOTNOTES All statistics are taken from http://europa.eu.int/index_en.htm (1) http://www.wwf.pl/0304151613_newsen. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level European Union section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level European Union essays

  1. The Institution of the European Union and Theories.

    This helped public spending but also incurred extra wage costs on businesses. A fixed wage was introduced so UK is paying the same level as the rest of Europe as a part of the single market. This has had an impact on businesses as they're having to pay extra costs.

  2. What Are The Functions Of The Four EU Institutions? How Are European Laws Made?

    In contrast directives are only binding as to the objectives to be achieved, bind only those Member States to whom they are addressed and require implementation in order to have the force of law. A decision is a law which is not of general application, but only applies to its particular addressee of the decision.

  1. What does citizenship mean in the European context?

    Under this view, the nation, which is the modern expression of demos, constitutes the basis for the modern democratic State: The nation and its members constitute the polity for the purposes of accepting the discipline of democratic, majoritarian governance. Both descriptively and prescriptively (how it is and how it ought to be)

  2. Explain the process by which EU law is made and the process by which ...

    The Treaty of Rome also gives the power for further EU law to be made by regulations and directives. New treaties such as the Treaty of European Union can also create law. Before new EU law is created, there is a lengthy consultative process, outlined by the diagram below: Parliament

  1. Regulation 2560/2001 on cross-border payments in Europe.

    thereof, Having regard to the proposal from the Commission (1), Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee (2), Having regard to the opinion of the European Central Bank (3), Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article251 of the Treaty (4), Whereas: (1)

  2. "To what extent will the proposed EU constitution affect, the procedure for EU/EC negotiation ...

    came entirely within the powers of the Community or whether it might have possibly given rise to a division of powers in such a way as to justify the joint participation in the agreement of the Community and of the Member States.

  1. Critically examine the merits and defects of the various approaches to dealing with environmental ...

    The use of environmental standards can have many other positive knockon effects. For example, by the EU giving a visible sign of approval to beaches that have a high standard of bathing water, areas that want to increase it's tourism industry strive and work towards these signs of recognition.

  2. The EU's CFSP and the Iraq Crisis: A Catalyst for Change?

    But it is yet one additional complicating factor in a long list of challenges. Resourcing CFSP One final area challenging CFSP is the resourcing of CFSP activities. In terms of financing, the Maastricht Treaty established that CFSP financing would be determined by the Council on a case by case basis.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work