“ENV.Net Factoring the Environmental Portfolio for WB and Turkey in The EU Policy Agenda”

The “ENV.net factoring the environmental portfolio for WB and Turkey in the EU Policy Agenda” is a regional project, bringing together seven partner organisations from the Western Balkan and Turkey and two EU member-state based partners, namely:

  1. Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development (Albania)
  2. Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development (Serbia)
  3. Green Home (Montenegro)
  4. 4x4x4 Balkan Bridges (FYR of Macedonia)
  5. Advocacy Training Resources Center (Kosovo)
  6. LIR Evolution (Bosnia Herzegovina)
  7. TEMA (Turkey)
  8. European Environmental Bureau (Belgium)
  9. Sud (Italy)

Env.Net objectives: ENV.net, an active regional network and advocacy actor of five years has started working on the “ENV.net factoring the environmental portfolio for WB and Turkey in the EU Policy Agenda”. This action aims to work on improving evidence-based policy-making and policy- influencing on climate change and environmental legislation in each of the ENV.net partner countries.

The network aims to generate region-representative evidence-supported input to contribute to EU discussions on matters of climate change and environment, and to explore and introduce to the region new inter-related aspects such as circular economy. In the process, the network foresees to also technically and financially support civil society organisations and media in each of the network partner countries, to better understand and work on these issues.

The project will specifically work on the strengthening of the network as a leading pan-regional actor in the WB and Turkey in orienting and influencing environmental and circular economy policy discussions at an EU level. It will also support local CSOs and media in the process of improving their skills and work related to environmental issues.

Why the need for this project?: Recent natural occurrences such as repeated massive floods, and the EU accession obligations the Western Balkans (WB) and Turkey region must fulfil, highlight the immediacy of action required in the field of climate change and environmental protection. For it to be effective, such action requires a solid pan-regional commitment in monitoring, advocating and awareness raising in home countries and engagement in policy- discussions at EU level. It also requires well-established and qualified civil society and media actors to generate positive pressure on the relevant institutions, and keep the citizens informed in a way that is accessible and actionable. Studies show that, despite efforts made in this regard, the WB and Turkey region faces a number of challenges impeding progress, such as: limited local buy-in of the reforms, conflicting legislation, lack of a critical mass that can monitor developments and exert pressure on policy-makers, weak dialogue with institutions, poor understanding and coverage of climate change and environmental news, and very sparse resonance with current EU environment-related discussions such as circular economy aspects.

Some of the key activities include:

  • Monitoring systematically national environmental and circular economy related legislation in vis-à-vis approximation to EU acquis and standards in all IPA countries.
  • Preparation of ENV.net country specific contribution to EU country progress report specifically covering chapter 15 and 27, and regional input for EU-discussions on circular economy.
  • Preparation of ENV.net position papers and policy briefs based on monitoring reports on aspects of circular economy and environmental protection.
  • Preparation of periodic national bulletins and regional newsletters on environmental monitoring progress.
  • Conducting of draft country specific reports /studies on issues pertinent to circular economy. Introduction of an annual circular economy conference for the Western Balkan and Turkey region. Participation to Circular Economy activities at EU level, and international level, i.e. Climate Change Conferences (COP 23/24).
  • Strengthening of existing ENV.net platform with content and visualizations of key findings/data for increased awareness and outreach impact. Organisation of ENV.net advocacy campaigns together with grass root CSO and media on Circular Economy, Climate Change, Environmental Protection and Progress Report Contribution National Findings.
  • Organization of field trips with Media and local grass-root CSOs to highlight and environmental issues and climate change effects, including circular economy.
  • Diversification of the themes available as e-Learning Courses for environmental grass root CSO and environmental activists.
  • Organization of common field activity Media – CSO to outreach citizens impacted by climate change effects such as droughts or flooding and environmental pollution and exploiting of Western Balkans Natural Resources.
  • Development and application of a support scheme for CSOs and Media through a dedicated sub-grant scheme applicable in each ENV.net partner country. 
The 3-year project, which started on December 31, 2017, is funded by the European Commission.