Environmental aid from Western Europe to the countries of Eastern and Central Europe (ECE) for the primary purpose of reducing transboundary risks – the risks to both the aid recipients and the donors – has become an important instrument for transboundary risk management in Europe (Lo¨fstedt, 1996c). However, transboundary environmental aid is not problem free. Aid can be viewed as violating an important principle accepted in the West, the polluter pays principle, and thus as inadvertently subsidizing the activities producing the risks. Violating this principle can

be justified if the aid corrects decisions of the past that involved unacceptable risk, but not if doing so encourages (as many argue) the continued operation of an inherently unsafe technology. Recognizing the dire economic circumstances of the newly independent states of Central Europe, a basic premise of this aid is that the taxpayers in Western Europe are willing to accept that they, the victims, must pay.