Celebrating 25 years!

In June 2015, the REC celebrated the 25th anniversary of its foundation. On this occasion, the signatories to the REC Charter adopted a declaration that recognises the achievements of the organisation and charts the way forward.

The declaration congratulates the REC “for its 25 years of dedicated service to the environment in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and beyond, and for the competence and expertise accumulated.” In the words of the declaration: “The partnership initiated in 1990 by the European Commission, Hungary and the United States of America, and later joined by 29 other governments as signatories to the Charter of the REC, has made a vital contribution to the development of democracy and civil society in CEE, to EU enlargement, and to the transition towards sustainable development in the region.”

The signatories renewed the REC’s mandate as a regional mechanism to promote the implementation of relevant EU policies in CEE and South Eastern Europe (SEE) and the coordination of the environment dimension under the SEE 2020 strategy. They also encouraged the continuous involvement of the REC in Eastern Partnership countries, with the aim of supporting democratic, inclusive and sustainable societies and cross-border cooperation. The REC’s expertise as a regional platform for promoting and facilitating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was also acknowledged.

The REC Strategy for 2016–2020, and its focus on strengthening environmental governance, combating climate change and improving natural resources management in partner countries, was endorsed.

The declaration and the strategy require the full mobilisation of the remarkable potential of the REC to deliver assistance and support to environmental stakeholders at local, national, regional, European and global level, thus enabling the best possible response to environmental needs and challenges.

With the strong mandate granted to us both by our 32 member countries and by the European Commission, the REC will continue to strengthen efforts to facilitate both regional cooperation and sustainable development. We are helped in our efforts, as ever, by our partners in governments, civil society and the business sector, and will continue to work with these key stakeholders, creating regional platforms to promote and facilitate the UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Jari Vilen
Chairman of the Board of Directors