Accession states' green spending challenged

Investment remains well below levels needed to meet EU environmental standards, warns Eurostat

EU accession countries are not spending anywhere near enough on environmental protection to adapt to EU environmental standards, according to a new report. Published by EU statistical office Eurostat, the report is based on figures for 1996-2000 collected under the joint OECD/Eurostat questionnaire on environmental protection expenditure and revenues.

Eurostat compares as a percentage the amount each accession country is spending on environmental protection with 1997 European Commission estimates of how much would be required to achieve EU environmental standards. Even the highest spenders - the Czech republic and Poland with 41% and 27%, respectively, are not spending even half as much as the estimate of need. Bulgaria and Latvia are spending only 2% of the recommended target.

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