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An Ever Cleaner Union? : The Impact of European Environmental Measures in Poland and Ukraine

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An Ever Cleaner Union? : The Impact of European Environmental Measures in Poland and Ukraine

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EHRKE, Anna Małgorzata, 2008. An Ever Cleaner Union? : The Impact of European Environmental Measures in Poland and Ukraine [Dissertation]. Konstanz: University of Konstanz

@phdthesis{Ehrke2008Clean-4105, title={An Ever Cleaner Union? : The Impact of European Environmental Measures in Poland and Ukraine}, year={2008}, author={Ehrke, Anna Małgorzata}, address={Konstanz}, school={Universität Konstanz} }

Eine jemals umweltfreundliche Union? Die Auswirkung von europäischen Umweltschutzinstrumenten in Polen und der Ukraine Ehrke, Anna Małgorzata 2011-03-24T10:10:25Z terms-of-use application/pdf 2011-03-24T10:10:25Z An Ever Cleaner Union? : The Impact of European Environmental Measures in Poland and Ukraine eng Ehrke, Anna Małgorzata This study addresses the issue of implementation of environmental measures in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Through case studies on Poland and Ukraine it evaluates environmental behaviour of industrial polluters and highlights the regulatory processes in the post-communist context. This study treats business environmental performance as one of the key determinants of the state of the natural environment in the region.<br /><br />The study employs several analytical perspectives. It draws on explanatory models with regard to the European Union (EU) external pressure, market forces, and, finally, state and social control systems. Focusing on the impact of the European Union on the industry's attitudes towards environmental protection, the analysis covers the period of time between 1998 and 2005. Therefore, it provides insights into Polish environmental policy prior to and after the EU accession.<br /><br />Explanatory framework is evaluated in case studies on environmental performance of chemical industry the Poland, a new EU member state, and Ukraine, a non-EU country. In contrast to the previous research, this study draws on the bottom-up<br />perspective in studying implementation processes in the environmental context. In other words, it does not focus on the mere transposition of acquis communautaire, but on the actual results of environmental action. Thus, it provides empirical evidence on the environmental engagement of the stakeholders at the very bottom of the implementation chain.<br /><br />The analysis was performed through application of different data sources. The first empirical part of the study is based on environmental legislation and secondary literature. The second part is devoted to the empirical evidence with the use of official statistical environmental data. Two last empirical chapters draw on my written survey of chemical companies, regional environmental inspectorates and environmental Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Poland and Ukraine, and, finally, on 25 semi-structured expert interviews. Both quantitative and qualitative evaluations are presented here.<br /><br />The findings reveal that membership in the European Union is the major driving force behind business environmental performance in countries under investigation. Interestingly, the EU impact does not necessarily depend on the strictness of the new EU-related norms. These are rather procedural requirements that accelerate the implementation process.<br /><br />Nevertheless, the EU membership is not the only factor which stimulates<br />environmentally aware behaviour. The analysis has shown that market forces are<br />important stimuli even in the absence of the EU external pressure. Companies with sufficient financial resources invest in the so called win-win solutions that allow them to reduce their negative impact on the environment, and that make them more innovative. On the other hand, as both Polish and Ukrainian companies face financial problems, they reduce their environmental engagement. This is why problems with implementation of costly environmental EU directives occur in Poland. Against this background, the results suggest possible opposition of the Polish industry against the ambitious EU environmental initiatives in the future.<br /><br />At the same time, the results show that introduction of the Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) effectively stimulates business environmental performance. Together with search for investors and access to foreign markets they encourage companies to rethink their current environmental policy and reduce their pollution levels. Consequently, good environmental performers enjoy the public image of environmentally aware companies.<br /><br />Finally, the study provides interesting findings on state and social control systems. While in Poland environmental inspectorates suffer from frequent legislative changes which hamper the process of carrying out controls, Ukraine's the major problem lies in the rent-seeking behaviour within CEE. The wide spread corruption hinders the environmental progress. Surprisingly, Polish NGOs show little engagement in lobbying against polluters. In contrast, Ukrainian organisations fight actively against industrial polluters. Yet, the impact of both Polish and Ukrainian social groups on companies' behaviour is very limited. Finally, the results provide a clear evidence that access to the environmental information is an important factor accelerating environmental action of businesses. 2008

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