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How Much Will It Cost to Join the Club? The Extra Costs of Approximating Lithuanian Environmental Laws with Those of the European Union


  • Randall Bluffstone


  • Daiva Semeniene


  • Jochem Jantzen



This paper presents estimates of costsassociated with approximating Lithuanianenvironmental protection legislation with thatof the European Union (EU). Lithuania is oneof twelve EU associate members in Central andEastern Europe that is currently preparing foraccession by approximating their legislationwith that of the EU. The costs of fifteen EUdirectives are considered and details are givenon four directives. Necessary investments maytotal Euro 1500 million by 2015 and the presentvalue of all annualized costs is expected to beabout Euro 2200 million. In 2015, annualized costsare estimated to be approximately Euro 500 million,but these costs are only part of the totalcosts of approximation. Non-environmentalcosts are not considered. Assuming a modestlyambitious average annual growth of GDP of 2.0%per year implies that approximation with thefifteen directives analyzed will cost roughly3.5% of GDP in 2015. This level of additional commitment to environmentalprotection is itself much higher than the 2.0%of GDP being spent on average by OECD countriesand suggests the possibility of a substantialeconomic burden on the Lithuanian economy. Public budgets and households are expected tocarry a substantial portion of this cost,because many directives are the responsibilityof national and local governments. Making theright choices that are expected to be part ofapproximation with the environmental acquis is likely to benefit from carefulcomparisons of costs and willingness to pay forthe environmental benefits of approximation. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Randall Bluffstone & Daiva Semeniene & Jochem Jantzen, 2003. "How Much Will It Cost to Join the Club? The Extra Costs of Approximating Lithuanian Environmental Laws with Those of the European Union," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(2), pages 279-303, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:26:y:2003:i:2:p:279-303
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1026327126495

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bluffstone, Randall, 1999. "Are the costs of pollution abatement lower in Central and Eastern Europe? Evidence from Lithuania," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(04), pages 449-470, October.
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