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News from the

October 2015


2015 Ceremony: EU Institutions strengthen alliance with cities through New Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy

The Covenant of Mayors has introduced an institutional novelty in the European policy landscape by encouraging local leaders to voluntary support the implementation of EU-adopted targets.
Since 2009 onwards, some 6,500 local authorities have already committed to the 2020 CO2 reduction objective. As part of the "New Integrated Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy", signatory cities will pledge action to support implementation of the new 2030 EU targets, a joint approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and the extension of the initiative to a more global scope.

Stay up-to-date with Covenant of Mayors latest news and have a look to the database of speeches and press releases.
Acursed Mountains, Kosovo

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: 3rd - 17th November 2015 and 1st - 15th December 2015.
b) “Get funding from the European Union”, the course developed by regards the EU as resource partner (read more).  Next e-trainings: 24th November - 8th December 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: During the month of October, the team in Albania participated in to important meeting of the waste management sector. The first one was discussion how the service of waste management (collection, transport and treatment) will be foreseen in the new draft law “On organization and functioning of the local governance units”. The second meeting was a conference organized by the Ministry of Urban Development, where it was presented for the first time the digital map of 89 waste dumpsites (non sanitary waste deposit sites) and 3 sanitary landfills identified in almost 80% of the territory of the country. was invited to express its comments on the new draft law on energy efficiency that is under discussion under the parliament commissions’. The new law brings new concepts and processes in the field of energy efficiency, where the new Agency of Energy Efficiency (the executive body of energy efficiency policies), the Fund for Energy Efficiency and the Energy Auditors, where some of the main new concepts presented in the new law. We were interested on explicitly stating that the Energy Efficiency Fund is important and should exist separated by other potential funds in the field of environment (read more). team in Albania was part of the fair organized by the Ministry of Energy and Industry on 23-25 October on “Energy and Construction”, where several brochures of and related to energy efficiency measures were delivered to the community. Students were involved during the fair on introducing the network and the work in the field of monitoring of environmental legislation in regional countries.
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Representatives of team from Macedonia participated in the National Round table on Cost recovery and CBA in Waste Sector, held on 27-29 October, 2015 in Skopje. This event was organised by the European Commission’s DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations within the framework of the TAIEX InstrumentThe aim of the round-table was to provide practical knowledge on experience of the EU Member States and support establishment of cost-recovery mechanism in the country (read more).
Serbia: EASD organized the round table for media reporting on the environmental and climate change issues on October 28, 2015 in Belgrade. Focus of the round table was on the media relation to the environment and climate change and the role of journalists in the reporting on the issues related to the environment and climate change. This round table was a part of the project: "Chapter 27: environment and climate change in the media" co-financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia. About 25 participants, primary journalists and representatives of non-governmental organizations who cover environmental issues and climate change, along with the representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection, were present (read more).
Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244/99): On 21st October, a round table was organized by ATRC in Drenas Municipality. The aim of this table was to discuss the effect of industry on the environment with focus on air and water quality. The case mainly discussed was the factory NewCoFeronikeli.
Present in the meeting were representatives from civil society, municipality of Drenas, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Hydro-meteorological Institute of Kosovo, Agency for Environmental Protection, representative from Ombudsperson as well as random citizens of Drenas municipality. This round table was seen as a very important activity by all participants as it is a tool for people’s voice to be heard more on the issues that affect them directly. Some of the topics discussed were: 1. the role of the municipality in the environmental protection; 2. monitoring the environment by NewCoFeronikel, environmental investments and future plans; 3.  The role of civil society on environmental protection at local level (read more).     
Turkey: team in Turkey attended a study tour organized in Czeck Republic between the dates of 12th-16th October. The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (Turkey) started “The Technical Assistance for Implementation of the By-Law on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Project” on 12 May 2014. The aim of The Project is to provide support to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization for the effective implementation of by-law on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in Turkey. During the study tour, organized within the framework of the Project, representatives from The Ministry of Environment, The Ministry of Development, The Municipality of Prague and SEA experts presented SEA procedures in Czech Republic, how they implemented SEA in spatial planning and the role of public participation in SEA.

News from the EU

I. BALKAN PARTNERSHIPS: Strengthening the region's ties - European Policy Summit Tuesday 1 December 2015, Brussels
Join Friends of Europe’s annual European Policy Summit ‘Balkan partnerships – strengthening the region’s ties, is going to be co-organised with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on Tuesday 1 December in Brussels.
Balkan nations face an array of domestic and external challenges as they grapple with the sudden arrival of refugees using the region to head northwards. The crisis in Ukraine and the return of Cold War rivalries cast a dark shadow over nations even as the EU pushes the pause button on Balkan membership aspirations.  There is, however, a new – but fragile – mood of cooperation in the region as countries step up their transport and energy connections and foreign investors seek out business opportunities despite continuing economic uncertainties. For registration and program, click here.
II. European Citizens' Initiative - EU Parliament votes for stronger voice for EU citizens
The European Parliament today adopted a report setting out its opinion on the European Citizens' Initiative and how it can be improved. he European Parliament has on Oct 28, 2015 voted to strengthen the European Citizens' Initiative. This crucial instrument for direct democracy aims to break down barriers between citizens and the EU's decision-making process and reinforce the democratic credibility of the EU. Three and half years since its start, it is clear that more needs to be done to improve how it works and ensure citizens can been convinced it is a meaningful democratic tool. Read more.
III. Car pollution - Cars allowed to exceed EU pollution limits under scandalous decision by EU governments
EU governments on October 28, 2015  approved a new testing procedure for car pollutant emissions under the EU's so-called 'comitology' regulatory process . While the test is being described as a 'real driving emissions' test, it would include loopholes allowing cars which exceed the pollutant limits set under EU law to be approved for the EU market. Hitting out at the decision, Green environment spokesperson and vice-president Bas Eickhout said: "This is a scandalous and cynical decision by EU governments. It shows they are not only keeping their heads in the sand with regard to the ongoing car emissions scandal, but that they are also willing to ignore the major and growing public health problems linked to air pollution. This new test is being marketed as a 'real driving emissions' test but it is a sham. It is instead a gift to car manufacturers who have made no effort to meet the EU's car pollution rules.
"Under the current lab-based test cycle, cars are approved for the market despite polluting many times above the legal limits in real world driving conditions. This problem urgently needed to be addressed but this new test cycle, adopted today, would lock exemptions into law, allowing car manufacturers to continue to market cars that exceed pollutant limits set by the EU back in 2007. Under a so-called 'conformity factor', manufacturers would be allowed to market cars that exceed the limits by 110% initially and 50% permanently (2). This is an outrage. We know that there are no technological barriers to meeting the EU's limits, as some car manufacturers are already meeting the EU norms, as well as far stricter US norms. This new test cycle is rewarding dirty car manufacturers who have made no effort, whilst striking a major blow to efforts to improve air quality and tackle the health problems caused by air pollution.
"It is simply not acceptable that EU governments can use a regulatory procedure to introduce major backdoor exemptions to democratically-agreed EU laws. We will now look at all legal means to challenge this decision and will push for the European Parliament to object to the proposal." Greens/EFA group

Latest from the region

Call for training by TACSO office in Albania: Three days Training on “Organizational Development and Management of CSOs”. To support the development of civil society sector in Albania, TACSO Albania Office will organize this training to increase the capacity of the staff and board members of CSOs in organizational development, strategic planning, development of internal operational systems, board and staff development, fundraising, public and media relations with CSOs, etc.
Deadline for applications: 10 November 2015.

Funding opportunities

EU Delegation in Albania: "Production and Dissemination of Audiovisual Products on EU Integration" Reference number: EuropeAid/150385/DD/ACT/AL. The global objective of this Call for Proposals is to contribute to an improved quality of information of Albanian citizens on EU policies and their relevance vis-à-vis their daily life as well as vis-à-vis the EU perspective of the country as such. 
Deadline for submission of Concept Note and Full Application: 30 October  2015. For more information, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions of the month

Q: How to deal with remaining supplies and equipment?
A: Unless otherwise clearly specified in the Description of the Action in Annex I, the equipment, vehicles and supplies paid for by the Budget of the Action shall be transferred to the final beneficiaries of the Action, at the latest when submitting the final report.
Ownership of, and title and intellectual and industrial property rights to, the Action’s results, reports and other documents relating to it will be vested in the Beneficiary(ies).
The Beneficiary(ies) also ensure the right to use freely and as it sees fit, and in particular, to store, modify, translate, reproduce by any technical procedure, publish or communicate by any medium all documents deriving from the Action whatever their form, provided it does not thereby breach existing industrial and intellectual property rights (art. 7-General Conditions).

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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