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Croatia – Environment

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Croatia – 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.


Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1326 – Not published in the Official Journal].


The 2010 Report indicates that the alignment with the acquis is nearly complete. However, in this final phase, additional effort must be made in the areas of water quality, environmental protection, risk management and climate change. The administrative capacity for action must be strengthened, including at local level.

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

Union environmental policy is aimed at promoting sustainable development and protecting the environment for current and future generations. It is based on the integration of environmental protection into other Union policies, on preventive action, the ‘polluter pays’ principle, fighting environmental damage at source, and shared responsibility. The acquis comprises some 200 legal acts covering horizontal legislation, water and air pollution, the management of waste and chemical substances, biotechnology, nature conservation, pollution and industrial risk management, noise and radiation protection.

Compliance with the acquis will require major investment, but will also deliver significant advantages in terms of public health and a reduction in the cost of damage to forests, habitats, the countryside and fishing grounds. 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)

Good progress has been made in the environment chapter as regards both alignment and implementation of the legislation. Legislative alignment with regard to water quality, and to a certain extent, climate change must be concluded.

Horizontal implementation of the acquis and cooperation with non-governmental organisations which are active in the environment domain must be improved.

Overall, Croatia's preparations are nearing completion. Croatia needs to continue strengthening administrative capacity, especially at local level.


Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1333 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 – SEC(2008) 2694 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

The November 2008 report presented the efforts undertaken in certain sectors, such as air quality, chemicals and GMOs. Substantial progress and investment was needed in order to meet the objectives laid down in the areas of climate change, water quality and industrial pollution.

Commission Report [COM(2007) 663 final – SEC(2007) 1431 - Not published in the Official Journal]. The November 2007 report indicated that progress had been made, particularly as regards horizontal legislation, air quality, waste management and chemical products. Large-scale efforts were still needed in order to fully meet Community requirements.

Commission Report [COM(2006) 649 final - SEC(2006) 1385 - Not published in the Official Journal]. In the November 2006 report, it was noted that Croatia had made appreciable progress, especially on air and water, nature protection, chemicals and GMOs. Significant efforts were nonetheless still needed, particularly in the administration and financing of environmental measures.

Commission Report [COM(2005) 561 final – SEC(2005) 1424 – Not published in the Official Journal]. The October 2005 report stressed the significant progress made by Croatia in the areas of air quality and waste management, while also noting that, in terms of the overall situation, there had been little movement in the other sectors.

Commission Opinion [COM(2004) 257 final - Not published in the Official Journal]. In its April 2004 opinion, the European Commission expressed the view that alignment with the Community acquis would require considerable effort on the part of Croatia, even though the basic elements of an appropriate legislative framework already existed. In particular, it stressed the importance of improvements in planning, investment and the preparation of financing strategies as well as the importance of integrating environmental considerations into other policies and implementing legislation.

See also

Last updated: 03.12.2010