Environmental Performance Reviews: Croatia

Second Review

image of Environmental Performance Reviews: Croatia

The present publication contains the second Environmental Performance Review of Croatia. The review takes stock of the progress made by Croatia in the management of its environment since the country was first reviewed in 1999. It assesses the implementation of the recommendations contained in the first review. This second EPR also covers 9 issues of importance to the countries related to policymaking, planning and implementation, the financing of environmental policies and projects and the integration of environmental concerns into economic sectors, in particular the sustainable management and protection of water resources, waste management, biodiversity and protected areas, and tourism. The publication is aimed at officials and experts working for public authorities responsible for environmental policy, representatives of civil society, the business community, academia and the media.



Compliance and enforcement mechanisms

There have been many positive developments in Croatia since 1999. Permissions and environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures have been amended to make them more transparent, coordination of inspection activities has been improved, risk-based planning approaches have been adopted, and the deterrent aspect of criminal enforcement has been increased. At the same time, the compliance assurance system is very much skewed towards punitive approaches, with compliance promotion taking place at an early stage. Judicial enforcement, which is used in Croatia more extensively than in other countries, is often slow and thus insufficiently effective. Fines (a preponderant non-compliance response instrument) are high but do not have adequate economic underpinning. Compliance assurance strategies for small-and medium-sized enterprises are not yet adequately aligned to the country’s regulatory regime, which widely employs general binding rules to reduce the administrative burden on the regulated community. Compliance with EU legislation will require additional capacity development among regulators and the regulated community alike.


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