Significant waste management work needs to be undertaken in some of the 10 accession countries joining the EU on May 1.
According to a European Commission statement: In addition, problems exist in relation to the difficulties of environmental authorities in obtaining adequate funding and staffing, as well as a persistent lack of co-ordination between policy sectors. These factors have hampered the progress made to date.
To help new member states comply with environmental directives, transitional periods have been granted, but these include detailed, legally binding intermediate targets.
Cyprus has until 2005 to meet packaging waste recovery targets, while the Czech Republic and Hungary have until 2005 to meet recovery and recycling targets.
Lithuania instead has until 2006 to meet the packaging targets, but Latvia, Poland and Slovakia have an additional year, and Malta has until 2007 to meet targets on beverage packaging and 2009 to fully comply. Slovakia and Slovenia have until 2007.
Other transitional periods are for hazardous waste incineration, landfill and waste shipments.