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News from the

September 2015


The monitoring matrix platform is online!

In the framework of the EU-funded project “Development of the in West Balkan and Turkey: giving citizens a voice to influence the environmental process reforms for closer EU integration”, the partners have developed an on-line tool to collect and organise information to compare the national legislations with the EU environmental policy and to identify the possible gaps.    
The Monitoring Matrix platform aims at giving an overview on the approximation process to the EU environmental acquis in the countries covered by the network. More specifically, it allows to compare specific directives of the EU environmental policy with the national legislations and to identify possible gaps in the adoption and implementation processes. Moreover, it presents the findings and recommendations raised from this monitoring exercise. Don't miss the opportunity to visit it!
Mavrovo Lake, FYROM

News from partners


All countries: training programme

Distance learning courses:
a) “Social media, Activism and participation”, The course on social media (read more):  Next e-trainings:September 2015.
b) “Get funding from the European Union”, the course developed by regards the EU as resource partner (read more).  Next e-trainings: 6th - 20th October 2015.
To take part, interested participants should first register to the e-learning platform here and then choose the course to attend from the "course catalogue". Further inquiries about the course may be sent to (or click here).

In-country news: in action

Albania: ENV-net team in Albania took place in a meeting organized in the French Embassy, with environmental NGOs in the Country, with Mrs. Bérengère Quincy, Itinerant Ambassador of Paris Climate 2015. It was her first time in Albania and she was very pleased to meet environmental organizations and hear them out about climate change situation in the country and what is NGOs specific role facing it. It is the first time in Albania COP initiative organized a meeting prior to the big conference of COP 21 in Paris, in Albania. The ambassador explained us main things regarding the organization of the conference and the role that will play this year the environmental NGOs from all around the world, which will have a specific place in the room during all the session. Read more.
TACSO office in Albania organized a meeting with Mr. Nicola Bertolini  from DG for Neighborhood and Enlargement. In the meeting participated all projects of FPA regarding Environmental issues. Mr. Bertolini learned about the progress of each project that are now at their third year of implementation and he was pleased to listen some considerable progress were made toward concrete impact in respective Western Balkan countries.
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: The ENV-net team from Macedonia together with some NGOs, members of the Platform for Green Macedonia, is working on an initiative for amending of the Law on Environment (one of the key laws in the area of horizontal  legislation of the Republic of Macedonia), which would prevent construction or reconstruction of facilities of heavy and polluting industries at a distance of less than five kilometers from urban or protected natural areas. The proposed supplement will have no implications in respect to other provisions of the Law. By introducing location as a criterion for building or reconstruction of facilities (in a separate line under Article 20: General provisions concerning the performance of activities) and by proscribing a quantitative value for minimum distance of the location from urban and protected natural areas, the legislator will only give a greater importance to these conditions. This, together with other measures proscribed by the law, should contribute to greater protection of the environment and prevent the pollution of water, air and soil in the vicinity of human settlements. In the forthcoming period, ENV-net team Macedonia together with other members of the ‘platform for Green Macedonia will lobby members of the Parliament for support of this initiative and amendment of the Law on Environment.
The public hearing on the Environmental impact assessment study for the project: "Construction of an iron foundry and iron products in Probistip” organised by the Ministry of Environment was held on 24.09.2015 (Thursday) in Probistip. Representatives from the team from Macedonia together with over 10 civil society organisation’s, ordinary worried citizens, local administration people participated at the hearing. After the presentation of the study participants had many comments and questions, such as where the waste from the foundry would be stored. In the forthcoming weeks all remarks on the study will be submitted to the Ministry of Environment in written for further consideration. Read more.
Serbia: At the Second Regional Conference on Environmental Impact Assessment, held from 16-19 September, 2015 in Novi Vinodolski, Croatia, EASD representative and Serbia expert presented the study: EU SEVENTH ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION PROGRAM: EIA AND SEA ARE EFFECTIVE TOOLS WHEN CORRECTLY IMPLEMENTED (read more).
Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244/99): Following the protests from Citizens of Drenas Municipality, representatives of CSOs as well as representatives of districts and villages in front of Ministry of Environmental and Spatial Planning in August regarding the environmental pollution especially air, caused by, according to them factory NewCo Ferronikel, Minister of Environmental and Spatial Planning together with vice Minister met with high management of factory NewCo Ferronikel to discuss the criteria of environmental integrated permission issued by the Ministry. Minister raised his concern about the metallurgic waste and the need for mine rehabilitation. He also requested by the factory management to increase investments about environmental protection, to reduce emissions within the criteria as well as to continue investment on treating the atmospheric water that leaks from industrial park. Both parties agreed to establish a joint professional body lead by the inspectorate of the Ministry tasked to conduct monthly consultative meetings and evaluation of environmental situation that will bring further recommendations based on the findings.   
Turkey: Ministry of Environment and Urbanization organized a kick-off meeting to present their project entitled “Technical Assistance for Capacity Building in Horizontal Sector for the Implementation of the Environmental Liability Directive”. The project which is co-funded by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey, commenced on 22.07.2015 and will be implemented over a period of 24 months. The meeting aim was to introduce the overall objective and purpose of the project, project implementing bodies and beneficiary bodies, project activities and expected results. The main purpose of the project is to strengthen the institutional, technical and legislative framework in Turkey for effective implementation of the Environmental Liability Directive and to establish strong administrative and technical capacity at all levels. Shown below are the expected results of the project:
-          The institutional and technical capacity of the ministry of Environment and Urbanisation is defined and strengthened,
-          Draft legislation is prepared to establish a framework of environmental liability;
-          To increase awareness through stakeholders (industry, CSOs, competent authorities)

News from the EU

I. Carbon neutrality by 2050? Environment MEPs initiative
The European Parliament's environment committee adopted on September 23, 2015 declaration, that the international climate treaty that is hoped to be signed in Paris this year "should aim at phasing out global carbon emissions by 2050 or shortly thereafter". The text was adopted, while  55 Yes MPs votes, yes 5 were against, and 8 abstentions.
II. Cheating with the figures? Volkswagen car manufacturer face serious problems
Following scandal in the US, where VW admitted 11 million cars were designed to bypass legal standards in emissions,  the producer faces €16 billion in fines and penalties. It is only beginning of the story. Now EU governments are coming after the world’s largest carmaker for emissions testing cheating. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Sep 22 for “complete transparency. ” France called for a European investigation and Italy launched its own probe.
III. EEB annual conference to focus on Europe's real environmental and social challenges
Registrations are now open for the European Environmental Bureau’s Annual Conference ‘A reform agenda for a sustainable Europe’ that will take place at the cultural centre Flagey in Brussels on Monday 19 October.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker came to power promising to be "big on big things and small on small things”, yet aside from climate change the environment is almost totally absent from his agenda. This year's annual conference will focus attention on the real priorities for Europe and how regulation, sustainability and the rule of law can play a key role in creating a Europe that is fit to face the environmental and social challenges of today and tomorrow. Confirmed speakers include European Commissioner Karmenu Vella and the new Director General of DG Environment Daniel Calleja Crespo. The panel debates will be moderated by leading commentator and analyst on European Union affairs Jacki Davis.
Join us in Brussels on 19 October – check out the full programme and register now.

Latest from the region

EU Delegation in Albania and TACSO Office organized a meeting to present funding programme of EUD in Albania and EC in Brussels for Regional Calls for 2016-2017. The meeting was mainly focused on thematic calls rather than concrete calls to be opened in the future. The Delegation declared to organize in the following months specific round tables with representatives of the CSOs, related to the calls for thematic proposal that would best fit to different sectors.
TACSO BIH is looking for an outsource organisation who will provide assistance to the TACSO BIH team in defining format for e-catalogue and mentorship support for 10-15 CSOs to formulate their SE ideas in order to attract the interest of business and design and facilitate 1-2 day Partnership Forum: CSOs-Business Sector.
The Conference Open Government: Engaged Citizens took place in Tirana on 10-11 September 2015. The event was an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the state of play in the region in relation to progress on Open Government issues. 

Funding opportunities

FPA: Call for Two Pilot Projects in Montenegro: In July, under the framework of the Triple A project, ECAS released a Call for Proposals open to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro who provide information, advice, and active help (legal aid) services which are free and open to all members of the public. Read more.
"Further harmonization of the Tax Legislation with the EU acquis" in  Macedonia: The purpose of the project is to achieve further development of legal framework in the area of taxation and to improve the administrative capacity of the Ministry of Finance and Public Revenue Office (PRO) for efficient implementation of tax legislation aligned with EU ‘acquis’. Read more
MED programme opens its first call for proposal for EU Mediterranean Regions and three Western Balkan Countries (Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Hezegovnia). First Deadline of project submission: 2nd of November 2015. Read more.


Frequently Asked Questions of the month

Q: How does the monitoring matrix web platform work?
A: The monitoring matrix is mainly composed of a monitoring matrix section, which presents an overview of all categories of the environmental policy and include links to relevant EU pieces of legislation, and seven country pages.
In the country pages of the platform, there is a general presentation of the situation of each country concerning the approximation process and a detailed analysis on the national legislation compared to the EU pieces of legislation. The Matrix does not aim to cover all directives and legislations of the EU acquis, but rather a selection of them that are considered the most important for all partners’ countries. In particular, three specific categories of the acquis have been selected so far:
  • Water quality
  • Horizontal legislation
  • Climate change
Within these categories, some specific legal scopes/directives have been selected and monitored accurately in their adoption by the local governments and when relevant in their implementation. Main findings and recommendations from the appear in all country pages and can be compared between countries.
The monitoring matrix is a work in progress. It will be continuously updated by the partners and it will hopefully include inputs from other organisations that would like to contribute. To this purpose, all interested stakeholders can contact us at any time to ask for additional information or to contribute to this initiative.

See what's going on in partners' countries

This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union.
The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of consortium and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union


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