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News from the

January 2016


New e-learning course is online!

The network is proud to launch the new distance learning “CSOs and participation: lobbying, advocacy and Policy Influencing”.  A straight-forward course to learn how to develop an effective advocacy and lobbying strategy and how to implement activities to influence the decision making process.
The course will also allow you to better understand the importance of the involvement of citizens in the decision-making process, in order to set policy goals and priorities more linked with the people’s needs.
Moreover, it will give you an idea of how citizens can take part in different activities to pursue a common purpose which respects the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the rule of law. During the course you will also learn how the CSOs can analyse specific national issues, spread information and change the way in which public affairs are managed.
Don't miss the opportunity to attend it! For more information, please click here.
Winter in Serbia

News from partners


All countries: training programme

Distance learning courses:
a) "CSOs activism and participation", the new course on how to develop an advocacy and lobbyin strategy and to influence the decision making process: Next e-trainings: 4th - 18th February 2016
b) “Social media, Activism and participation”, The course on social media (read more):  Next e-trainings: 11th - 25th February 2016.
c) “Get funding from the European Union”: the course developed by regards the EU as resource partner (read more).  Next e-trainings: 8th - 22nd February 2016
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: The team in Albania is leading the process to produce the first position paper, a key publication resulted from the monitoring exercise in all the countries. The document will be available soon.
Moratorium on forests logging. For the first time, Albania is engaged on approving the 10th year Moratorium on forestry logging. During these last 25 years, forests in Albania have been exploited drastically and no precaution has been undertaken to rehabilitate the damaged areas. In these last three years, Albania is making considerable steps on forests protection. 
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Announcement of the Restricted Call for Proposals for 2016: Active Citizens for Greener Future
In the frame of the project and its dedication via sub-granting schemes to give citizens a voice and influence public sector reform processes in the environment sector through analysis, monitoring and advocacy, on 14th January, 2016 Macedonia announced a restricted call for proposals for the local CSOs, working in the area of environment, titled “Active Citizens for Greener Future”.
The overall objective of the call is to expand the, by involving other CSOs from Western Balkans and Turkey in the organisation of public advocacy/lobbying actions. The main aim of these actions is to raise awareness among citizens and influence public sector reform processes on the approximation of Western Balkans and Turkey to the EU environmental standards (read more).
Deadline for sending applications under this call is 15th February, 2016.
Workshop on equitable access to water and sanitation: "Applying the Equitable Access Score-card in the Republic of Macedonia" - 19 - 20 January 2016, Veles
FYROM has been actively involved in numerous activities under UNECE and WHO/Europe Protocol on Water and Health (hereinafter “the Protocol”), while preparing for accession to the Protocol.
The workshop in Veles was a continuation of the one held on 16-17 June, 2015 in Skopje. It aimed to present a review of the outcomes of the self-assessment of the equity of access to water and sanitation in the Republic of Macedonia, which was carried out between April and December 2015 in three municipalities. Priorities to ensure equitable access to water and sanitation and recommendations for future action were discussed. Representatives of team from Macedonia took active part in this two-day workshop. The event provided a forum for discussion on the situation of equitable access to water and sanitation and the further steps for designing strategic orientations for an action plan to improve equitable access to water and sanitation in the Republic of Macedonia. The self-assessment exercise was coordinated by the Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Macedonia and the NGO Journalists for Human Rights with the support of UNECE (read more).
Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244/99): Municipality of Prishtina has installed 6 sensors for measuring air pollution in six different points in the capital of Kosovo.  So far there were only 2 points. According to local authorities, through this measurement of air pollution, citizen of Prishtina will be informed about the environment they live in as well as about what could they do in future to have cleaner air to breathe. This is only a pilot project and more sensors will be placed in the near future as well. So far, the Prishtina Municipality has also taken several important measures for environmental protection such as order for over 50 new buses for urban traffic causing less pollution, modernizing of public lightening, revitalization and expanding of green areas, tree planting, etc. Prishtina city is considered one of the cities fighting climate changes.       
Turkey: The Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, together with the Yıldırım Beyazıt University in Ankara, started to run a new project, in order to raise the awareness level on climate change. partner from Turkey, TEMA Foundation, participated in the kick of meeting and opening ceremony of the project in Ankara, on 20 January 2016. The project has two components: The education and training component and the local governance component (read more).
As part of the EU funded TASK-GHG Project, a Legal, Technical and Institutional Analysis report is published, with the aim of assessing and improving of the legal and institutional situation and identification of the steps needed in Turkey. The findings of the report are presented to the invited stakeholders, including the Turkish ENV.Net partner TEMA, on 21 January 2016, in Ankara. The project has the aim of contributing to the enhancement of the existing institutional arrangements to assist Turkey in meeting its international GHG emissions reporting commitments, consistently with Regulation 525/2013/EU (MRR) requirements. According to the report, Turkey has many challenges in terms of institutional capacity and legal framework, but is showing a strong will to overcome the barriers. For more information click here.
The sub-grant program for increasing the capacity of local NGOs is ongoing in Turkey. Under the call for application in December 2015, 29 applications from several cities were sent to TEMA Foundation. After careful evaluation by a jury committee, two of these 29 local NGOs are selected as sub-grantees: Kazdağı Doğal ve Kültürel Varlıkları Koruma Derneği (Mount Ida Natural Habitat and Cultural Heritage Conservation Association) from Çanakkale and Doğal Kaynak ve Biyolojik Çeşitliliği Koruma Derneği (The Association for Conservation of Natural Resources and Biodiversity) from Antalya. Read more about them in the blog.

News from the EU

I. The Netherlands presidency in the first half of 2016
As of 1st of January 2016, Luxembourg stepped down as Presidency of the European Union to be replaced by the Netherlands. The European Environmental Bureau (EEB)  published its assessment of the Luxembourg Presidency and its Ten Green Tests for the Netherlands.
II. Juncker Commission Political Priorities Revisited
The European Environmental Bureau published critical assessment of the present European Commission activities, demonstrating, demonstrating where EEB as the civil society representative think the Commission’s priorities should lie. 2016 needs to be the year in
which the EU delivers on this truly ambitious and global agenda of change and reform. This means agreeing priorities that will make sustainable development a reality and will deliver on our commitment of living well within planetary boundaries (read more).
New Rural Development Plans and the Environment: The Hidden Truth

On 8 February the European Environmental Bureau and BirdLife Europe are holding a conerence titled 'New Rural Development Plans (RDP) and the Environment: The Hidden Truth’ which will be held at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. Please have a look to the draft agenda and click here to register.

Latest from the region

On 25 - 26 January, the Regional Conference "Sustainability of the FPAs", organised with the support of TACSO Regional office, was held in Brussels. It was a key moment to think about the sustainability of each FPA with a special focus on the key outcomes of the projects and the main possibilities on one hand and challenges on teh other hand to reach achieve sustainability from the institutional, political and financial point of view.
During the conference, working groups were organised among different representatives of each FPA to address in  parallel thematic session on sustainability and also to explore possibile joint actions and new collaborations among networks.
DG NEAR representatives gave their contribution by explaining which are the EU priorities and which will be the instruments to support the assistance to CSOs in the upcoming years. They were also active in the working groups to guide the discussion about what sustainability means for the EU .

Funding opportunities

Call for proposals within the ADA-funded project "Capacity Building of the countries of the Western Balkans and the Republic of Moldova". Priority topics of the Third Call for Proposals under Thematic priority Inclusive Cities: Child care and child welfare, Civil society participation, Disadvantaged groups, Migration, Diversity policies, Equal opportunities, Roma inclusion, Youth policies.
Vise-grad Small Grants Program - Applicants are invited to submit their applications for Visegrad Small Grants program that serves as a facilitator of shorter-term (up to 6 months), smaller-scale projects and is also suitable to provide seed funding and networking opportunities for future bigger scale projects. Any original proposal could be granted support provided it links individuals or institutions from at least 3 V4 countries and develops project activities in the fields of culture, science and research, education, youth exchanges, cross-border cooperation (bi-/trilateral projects possible), and tourism promotion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a grant?
A:  A grant is a financial donation / non commercial payment by the contacting authority from the EU budget or the EDF given to a specific grant beneficiary to finance:
  1. An action intended to help achieve a Union policy objective (Action Grant)
  2. The operation of an entity which pursues an aim of general European interest and supports a European Union policy (Operating grant).
The body(ies) signing a grant contract is known as the grant beneficiary(ies) which should not be confused with the beneficiary country, the final beneficiary of the operation or with the target group.

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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