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News from the

March 2015


The bulletin: flash notice

The team, for the second phase of the project, promotes a new tool: the bulletin which aims at informing relevant key actors in order to make them aware and stimulate their reaction on spefic issues emerging from the monitoring execise on the environmental acquis.
Afterwards, the idea is to occasionally contact those relevant key actors to reinforce the relationship, seek for advise, and, possibly, involve them in more structured activities.

The bulletin will ensure a constant communication between the partners and other CSOs involved in the monitoring process in their countries and will maintain a rich debate with the partners and also the Commission to identify key events, which is deemed relevant to alert key actors.

The team
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Spring in  Bardovtsi

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: 22nd - 6th May 2015 and 28th May - 11th June 2015.
b) “Get funding from the European Union”, the course developed by regards the EU as resource partner (read more).  Next e-trainings: 7th - 21st April 2015 and 12th - 26th May 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

World Water Day, March 22nd 2015

On the occasion of the World Water Day, the team in collaboration with various civic organisations, organised common initiatives in Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey to raise public awareness through active involvement of citizens and institutions on topics related to the environment, with special emphasis on the protection and preservation of water as a resource that is not renewable, and which is needed more than anything in the daily lives.

Albania: The partner organisation in Albania, Co-PLAN, in collaboration with students and professors from POLIS University, organized a field trip in one of the biggest wetland areas in the country “Karavasta Lagoon” part of the National Park of Divjake-Karavasta in the mid-west part of the country. In this field trip participated approximately two classes of environmental studies (read more).

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo under UNSCR 1244/99: The partners' organisations, ATRC and 4X4X4 Balkan Bridges, organized an action to clean the river Lepenec with the support of volunteers. At 12:00 o’clock both parties met on Kosovo side, in Hani I Elezit, and gave a clear message that even though border splits environment is the one that connects.   
A “Joint Declaration” prepared by NGOs engaged in this activity said that “We want to open a new chapter of mutual cooperation for achieving joint aim that is clean and healthy environment for current and future generations” (read more).  

Serbia: The partner organisation in Serbia, Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development, together with the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia, Public Enterprise “Ada Ciganlija” and Association of Lifeguards, organised the social event for citizens celebrating the World Water Day for about 60 participants (read more).

Turkey: The partner in Turkey, TEMA Foundation, organized activities in different cities focusing on the messages ‘water is food’, ‘water is nature’, ‘water is health’ and underlined the vital essence of water. For this reason, protecting water basins becomes more important every day.
TEMA Foundation emphasized the importance of the Water Law that will protect the superior ecosystem interest, an ecosystem human beings are also part of (read more).

News from the EU

I. New report exposes lack of implementation of energy efficiency legislation. A new report from the Coalition of Energy Savings exposes that countries across Europe are failing to implement the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). The report provides a thorough analysis of European Member States’ plans to achieve their 1.5% annual energy savings target (Art. 7). The results are shocking, as only Denmark and Ireland provide adequate evidence as to how the savings targets will be achieved. Many Member States have failed to deliver complete reports and coherent answers how the 2020 energy savings will be reached. This includes Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania and Romania. Greece, Portugal and Slovenia that have already been formally requested to comply, and experts expect Hungary and Bulgaria to face infringement procedures soon (read more).
II. Up to 7% of carbon emissions in the ETS escape through loophole – study.  Between 90 and 150 million tonnes of CO2 resulting from burning biomass with no climate safeguards are ‘labelled’ carbon neutral in Europe and thus do not require carbon permits under the EU emissions trading system (ETS), according to a new study published today. This represents up to 7% of all emissions in the ETS on an annual basis or three times the CO2 emissions released in Portugal in 2012. For more information click here.
III. Market stability reserve: Council ready to negotiate with the European Parliament.  The Latvian Presidency has a mandate to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the proposal for a decision concerning the establishment and operation of a market stability reserve. The text agreed by the permanent representatives of member states on 25 March 2015 will be the basis for talks with European Parliament representatives. The first meeting ("trilogue") is scheduled for 30 March. The decision is an important step in the fight against climate change and paves the way for the reform of the EU greenhouse gas emission trading scheme (ETS). Man-made greenhouse gases are largely responsible for warming the planet and causing climate change (read more).
IV. Cutting resource use: it's in the design. The EU should make better use of one of the most powerful tools at its disposal if it wants to reduce resource consumption in Europe and bring about a circular economy, according to a new report from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB). For more information click here.
V. A nation’s conservation success cannot be predicted by its wealth. Wealthier nations protect biodiversity no better than poorer nations, suggests new research. The study found no link between national GDP and the effectiveness  of countries at conserving the species for which they have responsibility (read more).
VI. Carbon footprint of food waste not necessarily related to its weight. The carbon footprint of food waste should be taken into account alongside the weight of food wasted, says a new study. The research examined three years of food waste data from six branches of a Swedish supermarket and calculated the waste’s carbon footprint. On the basis of their footprint, key products that could be targeted for waste reduction include beef mince, meatballs and cream, the results suggest.
VII. Radioactive iodine in Arctic sea ice may have European origin. Ninety -eight per cent of radioactive iodine in Arctic sea ice may come from Europe, new research suggests. The study concludes that atmospheric transport of Iodine–129 from European nuclear fuel reprocessing plants is the most likely source.
VIII. Waste prevention: decoupling waste generation from economic growth.   Preventing waste is a top priority of waste policy in the European Union with potential economic and environmental benefits. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) report reviews the state of play in the EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (read more).
IX. SOER 2015 — The European environment — state and outlook 2015 . A comprehensive assessment of the European environment's state, trends and prospects, in a global context. The synthesis report informs future European environmental policy in general and its implementation between 2015 and 2020 in particular. It includes a reflection on the European environment in a global context, as well as chapters summarising the state of, trends in, and prospects for the environment in Europe.
X. Green Week 2015 Nature – our health, our wealth.  The 2015 edition of Green Week, the biggest annual conference on European environment policy, will take place from 3 to 5 June at The Egg Conference Centre, Rue Bara, in Brussels. The theme will be nature and biodiversity. Green Week will look at these and other benefits we receive from nature, and the framework in place to protect it. Green Week offers a unique opportunity for debate and exchanges of experience and best practice. Over the past decade, the conference has established itself as an unmissable event for anyone involved with protecting the environment. The 2014 edition attracted around 3.100 participants from government, business and industry, non-governmental organisations, academia and the media. To know more and register, click here.

Latest from the region

The "2014 National Survey on the European Perspective of Albania – Perceptions & Realities" presented on 28th March 2015 at the EU Info Centre in Tirana. The study provides insights on the level of knowledge and understanding that Albanians have about the European Union, its institutions, its business, and what the EU integration process means. It sheds light on the information channels mostly used by them when seeking information about the EU and European integration (read more).

Funding opportunities

A few new calls launched in the area, an opportunity for CSOs:
European Partnership with Municipalities: The Government of the Republic of Serbia is seeking proposals to contribute to sustainable development of underdeveloped areas of Serbia by creating more favorable environment for business and infrastructure growth with financial assistance from the IPA 2013 National Programme.

Deadline 28th April 2015 (read more).

Frequently Asked Questions of the month

Q: "How does the EU allocate funds for projects?"

 A: "The EU has a complex system to allocate funds. In principle project may be awarded on the basis of Implementing programmes. These have their legal basis on a EU law (called Regulation). This law is proposed by the Commission and then issued by a legislative authority composed of the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and/or the European Commission. Within this normative framework the partner, who chooses to apply for EU funding, has different possibilities according to its mission, priorities and geographical presence. The EC has created a range of financial instruments to tackle its development priorities and reach its development goals. For instance, the IPA II programme covers actions to be implemented in Western Balkans and Turkey. But this is not the only opportunity that CSOs in these regions have to mobilise EU resources. Partner organisations need to identify the financial instrument or programme that best suits their strategic planning and mission and then apply for EU co-funded implementation on that basis. In fact, the notion of partnership in this context is given by the fact that the EU works together with selected organisations to achieve common objectives. Thus, the project objectives identified by the organisation should be in line with those identified by EuropeAid in the programme/financial instrument to which the organisation wants to apply. A useful link to find funding opportunity is managed by EuropeAid and can be found here. This does not cover all funding opportunities since it covers only all present and future calls for proposals, for EU external actions."

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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