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The Europeanisation of agri-environmental policy: A case study of water quality in the Lithuanian karst zone

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Matthew GortonORCiD


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To protect water quality in its karst region, Lithuania has introduced a set of restrictions on farming practices. These restrictions were developed by a small technocratic elite and follow a 'narrow and deep' zonal management approach. Regulations are enforced by state agencies that have some degree of continuity in personnel at the local level from the late Soviet period but effective implementation and monitoring has been made more difficult by the land reform process. The latter has drastically increased the number of farms and created an extremely diverse set of actors in rural areas with contrasting farm sizes, degrees of specialisation and levels of education. In an attempt to move beyond a reliance solely on a command approach, one policy entrepreneur has attempted to stimulate organic farming in the karst zone, turning use restrictions into a 'marketing asset'. Europeanisation of water policy has necessitated a move beyond 'narrow and deep' zonal management particularly with regard to the implementation of the Nitrates Directive. Implementation of the directive has revolved around a bilateral debate between the EC and a small number of key officials and experts in Lithuania who have drawn heavily on expertise from Scandinavian countries. Lithuanian officials have faced a problem of being unable to distinguish nitrate pollution caused by agriculture from other sources and this has contributed to a decision to designate the whole country as a nitrate-sensitive zone. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zemeckis R, Lazauskas S, Gorton M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Land Use Policy

Year: 2005

Volume: 22

Issue: 3

Pages: 255-264

Print publication date: 01/07/2005

ISSN (print): 0264-8377

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5754

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2003.09.009


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