The Benefits of Compliance with the Environmental Acquis for the Candidate Countries, Summary

This paper is a summary of a study whose aim was to explore and estimate the environmental, economic and social benefits that are likely to arise from the full implementation of the EU environmental legislation in the candidate countries.

The debate has to date often focused on the costs of compliance with EU legislation and the difficulty of finding sufficient money to fund the necessary investments. There has, however, been little discussion about the benefits that EU environmental directives will imply for the candidate countries, both in environmental and economic terms. The hidden costs to the economy caused by lower environmental standards through a loss of output and inefficient production have not been taken properly into account. An analysis of the benefits resulting from implementing EU environmental legislation in the candidate countries is necessary to get a full understanding of the real effects of their accession to the EU and to ensure that environmental concerns are given the attention, priority and funding that they deserve.

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