Environmental Justice and Sustainable Development in Central and Eastern Europe
(1998) 8 European Environment 107-112
Posted: 14 Dec 2017
Date Written: 1998
The deterioration of the environment in Central and Eastern Europe during the past fifty years has very often been linked to the communist regimes then in place. Indeed, in the region, the ideologically led attempts of governments to achieve industrial development and to glorify the role of work and the worker alike left little room for environmental considerations. The authorities effectively refrained from enforcing existing environmental legislative norms, because they were portrayed as a barrier to development.
As the former regimes collapsed, there was much hope for the emergence of economic development that would respect both environmental and social concerns. The implementation of legal and political reforms and the adoption of a market economy, however, have imposed new constraints on the state and have altered the very fabric of society and citizens’ expectations. Against this background, environmental protection seems once again to be perceived as second to economic growth.
The aim of the paper is to examine, in the light of the Central and Eastern European experience, whether and how environmental protection and social justice can be reconciled with economic development. The paper concludes that this can only be achieved by fostering civil society and environmental justice and adhering to principles of good governance, in addition to adopting legislative reforms.
Keywords: Environmental justice, Sustainability, Central Europe, Eastern Europe
JEL Classification: K00, K32, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation