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News from the

May 2015


A new distance learning course
on CSOs participation is coming soon!

The European citizens' initiative allows one million EU citizens to participate directly in the development of EU policies, by calling on the European Commission to make a legislative proposal in a field where it has the power to do so, for example in the fields of environment, agriculture, transport or public health. With the launch of European citizens' initiative in 2012, the EU took a big step in promoting participatory democracy. The citizens' initiative represents a key learning process for the European Commission, for the Member States and for the citizens. 2015 is the year of the first assessment carried out by the Commission with regard to the citizens' initiative, in order to collect feedback and ideas from civil society, stakeholders and citizens more generally on the possibilities for improving the procedure.
The team has decided to develop a new distance learning course on CSOs and participation, focusing on how CSOs can effectively influence the decision-making process.
Lake Ohrid

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: 28th May - 11th June and 23rd June - 7th July 2015.
b) “Get funding from the European Union”, the course developed by regards the EU as resource partner (read more).  Next e-trainings: 12th - 26th May and 2nd - 16th June 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: team in Albania (Co-PLAN) together with POLIS University students, for the second year joint the initiative of “Let’s Clean up Europe Day” through supporting joint activity with local units, communities and public schools in the area of Puka, dldp (Decentralization and Local Development Program) program, and local NGOs (Agro Puka and Women Organization in Puka) introducing the community waste composting “Let’s Compost Together for a Healthier Environment” . The event took place in one of the public high school of the city “Sabah Sinani”, where a group of pupils and teachers were engaged during two days the event took place (read more).
On 7th of May, Co-PLAN (as part of the Environment Climate Forum under ECRAN project) participated at the 2nd Preparatory Meeting for the Environment and Climate Forum in Albania, organized at the Premises of the Ministry of Environment. The focus of the meeting was dedicated to “EU enlargement and country progress: Drivers and Barriers” and to the progress Albania is doing, in the field of approximation of environmental legislation (read more).

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: team in Macedonia held three meetings with Mr. Ylber Mirta, Head of the Water Sector in MoEPP in order to define the scope and method of cooperation with the Department in connection to the progress of harmonization of the domestic legal framework with the EU one in the area Water, and its implementation. A document that provides a detailed overview of the degree of transposition of EU directives has been produced. In addition, we held a meeting with representatives of the Centre for Climate Change Macedonia, in order to explore possibilities for cooperation with and to exchange of information related to the topic Climate Change.
Representatives of team from Macedonia participated in the second National preparatory meeting organized by ECRAN. The purpose of the meeting was to provide space for discussion between authorities, decision makers and representatives of civil society, then to discuss progress in negotiations to identify key challenges and discuss opportunities for national dialogue in the country, and the future prospects in the EU enlargement, and to provide input to the agenda for the annual meeting in Brussels between the Forum and the European Commission.

Kosovo under UNSCR 1244/99: ‘Let’s clean Kosovo’ initiative in cooperation with Association of Journalists of Kosovo organized a two day training on “Importance of media reports for environment”. There were 30 participants from Kosovo media representatives, Association board members, members of the team ‘Let’s clean Kosovo’ team members as well as UNKT representatives. During the training, it was agreed to form an online platform dedicated only to news about environment. This important training was supported by ATRC, the partner in Kosovo, and Touristic Organization Ulqin (read more).
ATRC has also been invited to an event organised by the EU Office in Kosovo to contribute in view of the EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Process Dialogues (SAPDs) on Transport, Environment, Energy and Regional Development related issues.

Serbia: team in Serbia has worked to organise The Eleventh Regional Conference ”Environment to Europe” EnE15 –, which will be held on June 5th 2015 in Belgrade. The thematic area for 2015 is the Horizontal Legislation. The Conference is an opportunity for institutions, organizations and experts to present their research and exchange viewpoints regarding methods, standards and tools toward EU environmental values and challenges on the road to EU. For more information, click here.

News from the EU

I. Better Regulation Package. On 19 May 2015, the Commission published its new Better Regulation Package, setting out how it proposes to deliver its commitment to Better Regulation over the coming years. Better Regulation is about designing EU policies and laws so that they achieve their objectives at minimum cost (read more).
Following the publication of the European Commission’s “Better Regulation” package Jeremy Wates, Secretary General of the European Environmental Bureau, said: “This proposal is a bad deal for the European Parliament, European citizens and European democracy in general. In return for a vague promise of ‘taking into account suggestions to its work programme,’ the Commission wants the Parliament and national governments to sign up to President Juncker’s flawed political priorities and limit their flexibility to amend Commission proposals through a top-heavy impact assessment procedure ”. For more info click here
II. Ozone pollution in Europe: fewer alert days but concentrations still high.  Air pollution by ground-level ozone continued to affect many countries across Europe during summer 2014, according to a new briefing published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) early May 2015. Almost all reporting countries exceeded at least once the long-term objective set by EU legislation, while the stricter alert threshold was exceeded only on four occasions (read more).
III. May infringements package: main decisions. In its monthly package of infringement decisions from 28 May, the European Commission is pursuing several legal actions against Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law. These decisions covering many sectors aim to ensure proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. The Commission has today taken 127 decisions, including 27 reasoned opinions and 4 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice. The Commission is also closing a certain number of cases where the issues with the Member States concerned have been solved without the Commission needing to pursue the procedure further.
Commission refers GERMANY to Court for e-waste failings and proposes fines. The European Commission is now referring Germany to the EU's Court of Justice over its failure to transpose EU legislation on the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (known also as WEEE Directive) and communicate the national transposition measures (read more).
Commission refers ROMANIA to Court over failure to transpose legislation on end-of-life vehicles. The European Commission is referring Romania to the EU Court of Justice over its failure to transpose revised EU legislation on end-of-life vehicles into domestic law (read more).
IV. Weak EU coal pollution standards could cause 71,000 avoidable deaths. Weak coal pollution standards being considered by the EU could result in 71,200 preventable deaths across Europe due to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, asthma and other illnesses associated with air pollution, according to a study commissioned by the European Environmental Bureau and Greenpeace. The additional drain on health services and the loss of over 23 million working days would cost taxpayers over €52 billion between 2020 and 2029. For more information click here.
V. New campaign launched as EU circular economy consultation to start. Days away from the European Commission’s launch of its public consultation on the new Circular Economy Package, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has launched a campaign to cut Europe’s massive overconsumption of natural resources. The EEB’s Make Resources Count campaign seeks to retain the high recycling levels ditched by the current European Commission, and to introduce new preparation for re-use targets. The campaign will also make the case for manufacturers to design their products so that they are more easily repairable, recyclable and longer-lasting. URL of the Make Resources Count campaign: Twitter: @Resourcescount; Facebook: Make Resources Count.

Latest from the region

During the week of 17-23th of May took place in Tirana the third Edition of Environmental Film Festival organized by EU Delegation in Albania, Ministry of Environmental and local and international partners operating in the country. During the whole week, in different places in the city there were shown short and long feature films, different NGOs fairs and other training activities. On the last day there were crowned the best environmental films of the week (read more).

Funding opportunities

The Delegation of European Union in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is seeking project proposals for strengthening the impact of civil society organisations in public and acquis-related policies and decision making, including strengthening the civil and political dialogue and thus influencing key sector reforms for further support to the EU integration processes.
The deadline for submission of concept notes is 25th June 2015 at 16:00 hrs local time. For more information, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions of the month

Q: What about the European year for development?

A: 2015 is a special year for development. It is the first ever European Year to deal with the European Union's external action and Europe’s role in the world. For development organisations all over Europe it is an unparalleled opportunity to showcase Europe's commitment to eradicating poverty worldwide and to inspire more Europeans to get engaged and involved in development. 2015 is also the year in which the Millennium Development Goals that the world agreed to reach in 2000, and in which the international community will agree on the future global framework for poverty eradication and sustainable development (read more).

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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