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News from the

January 2015


How to influence environmental policy through effective advocacy?

The toolkit is now available

January 2015 marks the end of the Phase I of our project and we are ready to start the next phase. One of the task of our project was to prepare an advocacy toolkit to help our partners in developing their activities and campaigns for better environmental standards in their countries. And here it comes.
Prepared by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) the “ advocacy toolkit - how to influence environmental policy through effective advocacy”
is designed for civil society organisations and people interested in contributing to the protection of the environment. It provides best practice methodology for creating an advocacy strategy. If you seek to influence your national environmental policies, strategies and systems, read on. This booklet is divided into two sections. One being “Methodology for effective advocacy, with step-by-step guidance” and another one “Advocacy tools, a glossary and model examples of position papers”.
What is advocacy and what are different steps for strategic advocacy planning  - these are issues which you will find in this new publication. The booklet ends with a few practical examples how position papers look like. There are many different publications, presentation, websites etc. covering the issue on advocacy. And we do not pretend to be the only ones who know about the issue. However, in EEB 40 years of existence, EEB also have learned a lot what advocacy means and developed skills that help us to deal with the decision-making processes in the EU and beyond. So, we truly hope that this small toolkit will help you in developing your campaigns to protect our common environment.   

To download the toolkit, please look at the ENV:net website by clicking here .

The project team
Northern Albania, Tropojë in winter  

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: 17th February - 3rd March and 12th - 26th March 2015.
b) “Get funding from the European Union”, the new course developed by regards the EU as resource partner (read more).  Next e-trainings: 3rd - 17th February and 3rd - 17th March 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 just prepared two publications on environmental issues. The first one is dedicated to energy efficiency issues and the role of in Albania on promoting this issue through the sub grantee schemes it developed and the awareness activities organized during the last year. The publication comes in a sort of a newsletter, where the audience can easily go through the short article. The second publication was prepared in collaboration with students of POLIS university on assessing the status of public services provision in the capital. Through the publication the audience can find the public perception on the cleanliness level in the capital through graphics and short description.  For more info please follow our website and facebook page.

Macedonia: On 22 December 2014 in Tetovo Macedonia organised a working meeting with the NGO members of the Platform for Green Macedonia. At the meeting attended representatives from Kavadarci, Kumanovo, Veles, Skopje and Tetovo, and from several local organisations from Tetovo.
The meeting was devoted to issues related to climate change (read more).
To wrap-up the first phase of the, the team prepared a brochure that presents the achievements of the first year of project in Macedonia, but also promotes the key objectives of the next phase of the project. The brochure, printed in Macedonian and Albanian, will be presented and distributed to key target groups (civil society organisations, governmental authorities and media representatives) during February (read more).

Kosovo: partner in Kosovo (ATRC) organised meetings with different institutions for sharing with them the recommendation from ATRC last conference, organised with REC in December 2014. During this time ATRC met with representative of Ministry of Environment, Agency for Protection of Environment, Kosova Forestry Agency, and Ministry of Agriculture for sharing with them the recommendations and coordinating activities between Local and National Institutions for Managing Forestry.

Serbia: During the month of January 2015, team Serbia organised several promotions of the publication titled “Environment to Europe”.  Publication consists of introduction, interview with coordinator for Serbia, and 13 scientific papers.  All papers that were published were previously presented at the EnE14/ conference that was organized in June 2014 in Belgrade.  This publication was produced with the financial assistance of the European Union through project and by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia. Read More.

Turkey: A two day seminar on effective negotiation competencies has been organized in Istanbul, Turkey within the Project. The aim of the seminar was to provide participants negotiation skills that will help building more effective synergies  both personally and as part of a team. To obtain positive results from negotiation processes, one must recognize his/her own negotiation style and realize how this effects the counterpart. Roundtables and meetings throughout the project’s first phase demonstrate the need to build competencies in this area for involved stakeholders.
Participation was also open to interested NGOs that don’t work on environment to create a platform to understand the work of NGOs across different fields and define areas for cooperation (read more).

News from the EU

I. Waste laws will be binned, despite protests.  The European Commission’s decision to ditch the Circular Economy package of waste, recycling and incineration laws, was confirmed on 22 January, despite the objections of the EU Parliament and national environment ministers. Read more. European Parliament (EU lawmakers) have failed to agree on a stance against the European Commission's plans to scrap some environment policies, marking a victory for the executive's push for less regulation. Read more.  The Commission has come under fire for its intention to withdraw the waste package and potentially delay a proposal to clean up Europe’s air. The Social Democrats (S&D), Liberals (ALDE), Greens (Greens-EFA), Eurosceptics (EFDD) and Left (GUE-NGL) parties were all critical of the Commission’s intentions. Read EEB’s/Green10 reaction here.  Earlier this month business associations, municipalities and NGOs have signed a joint statement urging Members of the European Parliament to adopt a strong resolution against the withdrawal and retabling of the Circular Economy proposal. To read the statement, please click here and here.

II. MEPs debate saved air rules before Circular Economy inquest. On 21 January, Members of the European Parliament debated air pollution rules for the first time since the laws narrowly escaped being axed by the EU’s executive arm. Read more.  

III. ECJ rulings a setback for environmental democracy. On 13 January 2015 European Court of Justice rulings on a number of cases related to the EU’s implementation of the Aarhus Convention are a sorry step backwards for environmental democracy, public accountability and access to justice with respect to the EU institutions at a time when the EU needs to be proving its democratic credentials. For many, it will confirm the existence of a serious democratic deficit in the EU institutions. Read more

IV. Heed citizens’ calls to drop investor protection from TTIP, say Commission advisors. The findings of the public consultation on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the EU-US free trade negotiations, published on 13 January, leaves no room for any other conclusion than that ISDS should be excluded from any such trade agreement, two members of the European Commission’s own advisory group have said. The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and Transport & Environment (T&E) called on the EU to heed the views of the almost 150,000 European citizens who participated, a record in the history of European public consultation. Read more

V. New infographics on cross-border air pollution The European Environmental Bureau has prepared six infographics which highlight the cross-border problem of air pollution in the EU. The infographics show how some pollutants, which can transform in the air and become Particulate Matter (PM), cross national borders and can impact on countries which are far away from the source of the pollution.   Read more here and here.

VI. Almost half of EU freshwaters suffer from chemical pollution. The health of almost half of all European freshwaters is at risk from organic chemical pollution, finds new research. The study, a continental scale risk  assessment of the potential effects of toxic organic chemicals on freshwater ecosystems, based its conclusions on data for over 200 pollutants measured at 4000 monitoring sites across Europe. Read more.

VII. EU's food safety agency gives green light to Bisphenol A.  The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) re-evaluation of Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and toxicity states that BPA, an endocrine disruptor, poses no health risk to consumers of any age group at current exposure levels. Read more.  Here is the comment from Lisette van Vliet, senior policy advisor at the Health & Environment Alliance (HEAL) who said: "In its opinion of the negative health effects of BPA, EFSA focused on the liver, kidney, and mammary glands. It considers effects on reproductive, brain, immune, metabolic and cardiovascular systems or on development of cancer are unlikely, but it can’t exclude them. But it says that there is no risk for people at current levels of exposure, without having explored what would be the case if those other effects aside from liver, kidney and mammary would turn out to be correct. Is this logical? It seems to be the equivalent of saying “My lost car keys are definitely not on the ground of the parking lot”, without making it clear that you’ve only looked under the parking lot lamppost."

VIII. Light bulbs eco label misused.  An investigation (Read more). conducted by environmental group Coolproducts has found that "Eco" branded light bulbs are not as energy efficient as advertised in stores across the EU. Following a survey of shops in Belgium, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, Coolproducts revealed that halogen bulbs branded as “eco” consume in fact ten times more energy than for instance, the latest LED lamps. Read more

IX. Agriculture Commissioner promises GMO labelling, despite TTIP. If a product contains genetically modified corn, it will still be labelled as such in the future, assured EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, seeking to dispel fears that consumer protection standards could suffer under planned trade agreements with the US and Canada. Read more

X. Former Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik gets the Circular Economy Award in Davos. The Circular Economy Awards, or The Circulars, is an annual event recognizing individuals and enterprises from commerce, civil society and academia that have made a notable contribution to driving circular economy principles. On 21 January, Janez Potocnik received this Award for playing a leading role in the field of circular economy. Read more.

Latest from the Region

News from ECRAN (Environment and Climate Regional Accession Network).
On February, 23-24, the 2nd Training Module on “Climate change” will be held in Brussels.
Event from ECRAN:
On January, 15 the “2nd Annual Meeting on Climate Component” took place in Brussels.
The results of the meeting will be used as input for climate activities under the ECRAN Climate Component for which the framework was already agreed during the first Annual Climate Meeting.
The overall objective is to strengthen regional cooperation between the EU candidate countries and potential candidates in the fields of environment and climate action (read more).

Funding opportunities

A few new calls launched in the area, an opportunity for CSOs:

Further development and financial sustainability of the civil society (IPA). Deadline for submission: 20th February 2015 (read more).

PeaceNexus Fund â€“ New Organisational Development Call 2015. Deadline for submission: 11th February 2015 (read more).

EU Delegation in Albania has launched the competition for the 2021 European Capital of Culture in candidate countries/ potential candidate countries. Deadline for submission: 30th January 2015 (read more).

Frequently Asked Questions of the month

Q:  "What does it mean approximation process?"
A: "The approximation of law is a unique obligation in the European Union. It means that countries aspiring to join the European Union must align their national laws, rules and procedures in order to give effect to the entire body of EU law contained in the so called “acquis communitaire”. The latter is a French terms used in the EU terminology to specify the body of law regarding a specific area (e.g. the Environment which constitutes the “Acquis 27”). Each Acquis is than further divided into themes like, in the case of the Environmental Acquis, the “horizontal legislations”, “Chemicals”, “Nature Protection”, Waste management”, ect."

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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