Environment in emerging and transition economies

Translating Environmental Law into Practice


Progress in Modernising Environmental Regulation and Compliance Assurance in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia


Poor environmental compliance is symptomatic of policy failure and implies high costs for society, undermines the rule of law, and distorts the level playing field for businesses.The “Guiding Principles for Reform of Environmental Enforcement Authorities in Transition Economies”, endorsed at the Kiev Ministerial Conference, provide a reference model to help overcome compliance problems in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA).

The current report, developed within the framework of the EAP Task Force’s Regulatory Environmental Programme Implementation Network (REPIN), reviews progress in transposing the Guiding Principles into practice and provides recommendations on future action.
The report argues that EECCA countries need to pursue a better regulation process aimed at ambitious, but also fair, feasible, and clear environmental requirements. Political decisions are needed to re-orient strategies and performance indicators from counter-productive revenue-raising to compliance and environmental results. Improved procedures should guarantee transparency and accountability of decision-making.




The incentive framework for businesses to comply should be analysed, and non-compliance rates – quantified and regularly disclosed. Third parties should be enabled to act as indirect enforcers. Instruments should be focused on prevention of violations, their timely discovery using risk-based approaches, and sharp but stepwise and proportional sanctioning.Institutional capacity needs further development.

Political will and international cooperation will remain crucial drivers for change.