Participatory Governance

Better Access to Justice in South Eastern Europe

In support of activities carried out under the Aarhus Convention Task Force on Access to Justice, the REC developed the Study on access to justice in environmental matters particularly in respect to the scope of review in the selected countries of South-Eastern Europe (April 2017). This legal review was conducted to raise awareness and facilitate national multi-stakeholder dialogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro on access to justice, using relevant legislation, good practices, case law and academic studies. The aim was to build capacities for the implementation of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention, and remove barriers to access to justice in environmental matters. For more information, visit the project website

Building bridges between regions: Interregional cooperation on the implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration and Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in the Caribbean Region

The REC facilitated the promotion of the Principle 10 regional process at sub-regional level, which contributed to two new countries from the Caribbean joining the process (Grenada and Dominica). This was achieved through high-level meetings and promotional activities. The project also supported national and interinstitutional consultations on the draft text of the Principle 10 instrument, and assisted in the preparation of the fourth and fifth Negotiating Committee meetings (NCM), offering intersessional assistance in the shape of webinars on concrete issues, and facilitating the involvement of representatives of the public and negotiators. Further details can be found on the project website.

Support to the Establishment and Advancement of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) in Western Balkan Countries and Moldova

During 2016, the project continued to provide assistance to four parties to the UNECE PRTR Protocol, (Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova and Serbia) and two signatories (Bosnia and Hercegovina and Montenegro). Technical assistance and expert advice were provided to improve the efficiency of already functioning PRTRs by developing a PRTR web application and by introducing a new module on quality assessment and assurance in Serbia. The REC contributed to increasing the transparency of PRTR decision making by organising multi-stakeholder meetings in Moldova and Serbia.

A regional experience-sharing workshop in Skopje facilitated the exchange of best practices to improve the development and operation of PRTRs and promote mutual learning and cooperation. The REC actively contributed to the implementation of the work programme and the strategic plan of the PRTR Protocol. Details can be found on the project website.

First High-level Panel of Environment Ministers of SEE

The High-Level Ministerial Panel on Responding to Climate and Environmental Challenges in SEE, which took place in April 2016, was co-organised by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and REC Montenegro under Montenegro’s current co-chairpersonship of the Regional Working Group for Environment of the SEE 2020 Strategy. Participants adopted a joint declaration, known as the Podgorica Initiative, which supports a regional approach to environmental and climate change issues.

Bosnian Working Group for European Integration

REC Bosnia and Herzegovina was a member of the working group established by the Directorate for EU Integration of BiH, and, by giving expert input, it played a significant role in the preparation of the IPA Sector Planning Document 2016–2017 for the area Competitiveness and Innovation – Local Development Strategies.

LINK Civil Society

The REC developed a capacity-building curriculum on energy and sustainable development for civil society organisations (CSOs), with relevance to EU approximation. Seventeen CSOs from the LINK partner municipalities part took in the LINK Organisational Leadership and Development Programme. The programme offered four interlinked components: a CSO leadership course; an organisational self-assessment in each of the participating organisations; an organisational development course; and organisational development grants. Targeted grants supporting energy security and sustainability were awarded to five CSO consortia, encompassing a total of 16 organisations in Ukraine. Grant implementation has commenced accordingly. For more information, please see the project website.

Environmental CSO Support in Albania (SENiOR II)

During the implementation of the ACHIEVE programme (Albanian Civil Society for the European Environment) and SENiOR II, approximately  70 environmental CSOs in Albania benefited from EUR 650,000 in grants at national and local level. As a result of the capacity-building and financial support, four environmental CSO networks are now in operation, focusing on priority environmental topics in the country.

Regional Consultation on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Central and Eastern Europe

In April 2016, the REC hosted a two-day regional consultation that brought together representatives from government, academia, civil society, the business sector and international organisations from Eastern European EU member states and South Eastern Europe. The outcome document is available here

Participatory Governance
PRINCIPLE 10
REC expert Tsvetelina Filipova addresses the 12th Caribbean Youth Environmental Network Biennial Congress in October 2016.