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News from the

December 2014



2015: two toolkits to be launched soon

Based on the assumption that an improved dialogue among civil society and state institutions is a key expected result of the project, , the team has decided to elaborate two toolkits.
In order to better spread information on the EU environmental acquis the toolkits have been elaborate as follow.
A first toolkit, prepared by the partner European Environmental Bureau (EEB), focuses on advocacy, and is intended to be used to build a replicable strategy to influence the decision-making process on environmental issues, at national and local level.
The toolkit is divided into two parts. A first part is dedicated to provide an overview summarising the main points and key steps in advocating for a more effective impact, providing step-by-step guidance and tools to assist concrete action on the ground. A second part contains a few annexes where a variety of advocacy tools, such as a glossary and some examples of position paper, are presented.
A second initiative aims at publishing a short manual to explain the EU Environmental acquis for non-environmental practitioners. This manual (Environmental acquis for dummies) is edited by Turkish partner Tema and is conceived to promote the importance of the EU environmental standards in a non-formal way in order to make them more accessible to a wider public.

the project team
Albania, Albanian Alpine Path 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: 13rd - 27th January 2015 and 17th February - 3rd 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: 8th - 22nd January 2015 and 3rd - 17th February 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: Awareness activity in Albania on energy saving days.
Co-PLAN in collaboration with POLIS University, in the frame of project organized on 18 and 19 of December 2014 an open awareness activity on issues related to energy efficiency in dwelling buildings. The activity took place in the yard of QTU shopping mall, where the theatre capsule type served to promote all the awareness activities and brochures during those two days. Read more.
Macedonia: Different meetings held. Meetings have been organised by Macedonia in Kumanovo, 2nd December, 2014, with CSOs, where members of the Platform Green Macedonia have discussed about the next steps to be implemented by the Platform members with regards to the detected “10 hot-spots” and the prospects of establishing a “Green Consortium” (read more). An other meetting was also held in Rankovce, (the 3rd December, 2014), together with the Mayor of the Municipality of Rankovce, and the students from local primary school “Hristijan Todorovski Karposh” to organise a joint action for forestation, poetically titled “A forest of the Balkan people” (read more). Finally an additional meeting was organised in Tetovo, (the 22nd December, 2014) with the NGO members of the Platform for Green Macedonia. The meeting was devoted to issues related to climate change.
Serbia: team Serbia, organised the Second Annual Seminar for Teachers, on December 12, 2014., in Belgrade.  Over 50 participants were present from all levels of education institutions from pre-schools, elementary and secondary schools, to higher educational institutions (college and university).  The main topics discussed include different ideas and methods on how environmental education in schools could be enhanced and better represented in school curriculum. Read more
Kosovo: Advocacy Training and Resource Centre (ATRC) in cooperation with the Regional Environment Centre – REC, within the regional project, Env Net, organized the conference on the topic: “Managing forests and measures undertaken to prevent illegal logging”. Read more

News from the EU

I. Plan to cut pollution from combustion plants watered down by the Council.  On 17th December, the Council of Ministers agreed on a position that would limit emissions from medium-size combustion plants but create too many loopholes and unjustified flexibility schemes to be fully effective. The Council’s position exempts operators of refineries, plants operated on large-scale farming sites or plants on islands and there would be complex transition periods for existing combustion plants. The Council has also proposed far less ambitious limit values than what is technically feasible.  To read the EEB’s press release, follow the link here.
II. Axing of waste proposals and uncertainty about air a colossal strategic blunder. The Green 10 condemn in the strongest possible terms the Commission’s plans to withdraw and re-table key proposals on waste management and to create confusion and uncertainty about the fate of the air package. To read the Green 10 reaction, follow the link here.
III. American citizens to EU Commission: “Stop cutting our forests”. Over 50 000 US citizens are appealing to European Commissioners Arias Cañete and Vella for a change in the EU legislation that has caused a boom in the demand for wood pellets produced from Southern US forests. On 11 December their demand was delivered to the European Commission by BirdLife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau. To read more, follow the link here.
IV. Environment Council on 17th December.  At this meeting ministers strongly criticised the European Commission for wasting time and effort on the circular economy package with its plan to table a replacement proposal. The Italian presidency of the EU Council said the Commission’s withdrawal of the existing proposals sends out a negative signal at a time when investment in the circular economy is urgently needed. For info about the outcomes of the Council, follow the link here.
V. Reducing use of plastic bags. The Council reached a political agreement on a draft directive to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic bags. For more info, follow the link here.
VI. A New Start: European Commission work plan to deliver jobs, growth and investment. On 16 December, the European Commission adopted its Work Programme for 2015 – setting out the actions the Commission intends to take over the next 12 months to make a real difference for jobs, growth and investment and bring concrete benefits for citizens.  If you want to see what the programme says, follow the link here, and here.
please note, environment is not among 10 priorities of the commission for 2015 !!!
VII. More action needed to reduce transport's environmental impact. The transport sector is still generating excessive greenhouse gas emissions and harmful levels of air pollution and noise, according to the latest edition of the European Environment Agency's annual report on environment and transport.  Europeans collectively travelled 6.4 trillion kilometres in 2012, according to the Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) 2014. While car transport made up more than 70 % of this distance, it has continued to decline since 2009. In contrast, air transport has increased very fast over recent decades. To read the report, follow the link here.
VII. A quarter of Europe’s population exposed to harmful traffic noise. More than 125 million Europeans could be exposed to levels of road traffic noise above legal guidelines. This causes a range of health problems, according to a new assessment from the European Environment Agency (EEA). To read more, follow the link here.
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. The EEA report ‘Waste prevention in Europe’ shows that by the end of 2013, 18 of 31 countries had adopted waste prevention programmes as required by the EU Waste Framework Directive. The EEA will regularly assess waste prevention programmes under this legislation. To read this interesting study, follow the link here.

Latest from the Region

News from ECRAN (Environment and Climate Regional Accession Network).
On 2nd – 4th of December, in the frame of ECRAN project, there was organized in Tirana a workshop on “Capacity building on compliance with chemicals legislation, with emphasis on REACH/CLP linked to IED – Procedures. Most of the ECRAN beneficiary countries are at a different level when it comes to transposition of the EC chemicals legislation and additional efforts are needed in the area of its implementation.
The REACH and CLP regulations, interlinked amongst other with the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), are covering major chapters of chemicals legislation and industrial pollution control. This workshop is the following up of the workshop held in Podgorica, Montenegro on 13 – 15 May 2014. The current workshop focuses on the procedural aspects of REACH Regulation. Read more.

Funding opportunities

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) launched a call for proposals, deadline 16th of January 2015. Space for ideas aimed to strengthen civil society organizations. Read more
EU: New calls for Macedonia (but all IPA countries are eligible).
1) 2014-2015 Supporting a civil society through Country-Based Support Schemes (CBSS)
, restricted call for proposals, deadline 02/02/2015 aimed at Strengthening of the role of Civil Society in supporting democracy in the country. Read more.
2) Further development and financial sustainability of the civil society, restricted call for proposal, dead line 20 February 2015, aimed at further enhance civil society through involvement of civil society in the creation of public opinion, policy making and participation in the decision making processes at local and national level. Read more.

Frequently Asked Questions of the month

Q: “What IPA stand for”
A: “IPA stand for Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance and is the main by which the EU supports reforms in the 'enlargement countries' with financial and technical help. The IPA funds build up the capacities of the countries throughout the accession process, resulting in progressive, positive developments in the region.
The current IPA (called IPA II) was launched in March 2014 and it has been prepared in partnership with the beneficiaries countries (namely Current beneficiaries are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey). IPA II sets a new framework for providing pre-accession assistance for the period 2014-2020.
The most important novelty of IPA II is its strategic focus. Country Strategy Papers are the specific strategic planning documents made for each beneficiary for the 7-year period. These will provide for a stronger ownership by the beneficiaries through integrating their own reform and development agendas. A Multi-Country Strategy Paper will address priorities for regional cooperation or territorial cooperation.”

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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