The six countries next in line to join the European Union are likely to run up against serious problems as they try to comply with EU environmental laws, possibly delaying their EU membership, according to acting EU Environment Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard. Poland in particular has made little progress in meeting environmental norms, Bjerregaard said. The other nations in question are Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia, and Cyprus. Meanwhile, EU energy ministers today will ask for binding legislation to boost renewable power production, striving to meet the EU’s goal of doubling the percentage of energy it gets from renewables to 12 percent by 2010. The EU’s executive commission will have the task of drawing up draft legislation, but it isn’t likely to happen quickly.

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