Living with big brothers
On May 1 2004, ten new countries joined the European Union (eu). This is the biggest enlargement in the union's history and will undoubtedly affect its decision-making processes. Whether that will be for the better or worse remains to be seen.
What is clear, however, is that eu's environmental legislation and policies will cover a much larger area than before. The union's environmental acquis ' which has been developed over the last 30 years consists of more than 300 different legislations. They come together with numerous communications and policy guidelines. Therefore, at the beginning of the negotiations on integration, environmental legislation was seen by many as the most contentious. Moreover, complying with eu's environmental laws means an annual spending of 80 to 120 billion euros (Rs 4,300-6,500 billion) for the new members. They would have to spend upto 2-3 per cent of their gross domestic product for the purpose