Transport and the environment in the applicant countries
The average GDP in the CEECs still lags well behind the existing
Member States. More precisely, of the 105 million people living
in these countries, more than 98 million are in regions where per
capita GDP is less than 75% of the projected average for the enlarged
In all socio-economic sectors - industry, services, transport,
the environment, agriculture, skills levels, etc. - these countries
have a substantial deficit to make up.
Transport infrastructure provision, for example, is well below
average levels in the Union, in terms of both quantity and quality.
In particular, a huge amount of work is needed to develop national
networks and connect them to the trans-European networks, not to
mention the shortfall in intermodality.
On the environmental front, the worst problems are water pollution,
waste management and air pollution. Some 40% of the population in
the applicant countries do not have running water and only 42% of
liquid waste is treated, and then rarely to EU standards.
The Instrument for Structural
Policies for Pre-accession (ISPA) was developed by the European
Commission to help the central and eastern European countries comply
with Community environmental and transport standards. With an annual
budget of € 1 040 million (1999 prices), ISPA's approach is
similar to that of the Cohesion Fund.