Print version

When the Accession Legacy Fades Away: Central and Eastern European Countries and the EU Renewables Targets


Renewable sources of energy are considered to play a crucial role in the transition towards a decarbonised economy. Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries’ positions vis-à-vis the European Union’s (EU) renewables goals do not form a homogenous group and have changed over time. After joining the Union, these countries initially supported the EU’s renewables targets due to post-accession compliance; however, once this accession legacy faded away, they started to pursue their preferences in a more assertive way, which resulted in different strategies and priorities. The development of CEE countries’ positions towards renewables targets is thus connected to the ‘emancipation’ of these countries and a more assertive way of pursuing their preferences at the EU level, once they were ‘freed’ from the influence of post-accession conditionality.
Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe; climate change; compliance; national preferences; renewables