EU Conditionality and Environmental Policy in Southeastern Europe

Susan Baker
2015 Comparative Southeast European Studies  
European Union engagement in Southeastern Europe (SEE) attempts to control the negative consequences of the collapse of the old communist regimes. These 'soft security' concerns include justice and home affairs, environment, and energy. Through the transfer of policies and regulations, and by norm diffusion, the EU is able to operate beyond the borders of its formal, legal authority. In managing its perceived vulnerability, the EU imposes strict conditionality on countries in SEE. As
more » ... stalls, and conditionality tightens, the expansion of EU governance sees curtailment of the possibilities of democratic engagement with the institutional structures of the EU. From an environmental perspective, EU engagement brings distinctive advantages: legislation has become more comprehensive, investment in environmental infrastructure has increased, and administrative structures have been modernised and devolved. This partly compensates for the lack of domestic interest in the environment. However, EU investment drives intensification and modernisation that brings new environmental pressures. In addition, while it promotes new styles of governance at home, the EU may help replicate traditional patterns of societal complacency in SEE, rather than promoting civil society engagement needed to promote sustainable development.
doi:10.1515/soeu-2015-630303 fatcat:42fzcjlmjbg63adbhzd3jd63u4