Approximation process to the EU Environment acquis in Macedonia
Chapter 27: Environment and climate change
As regards the environment, in the area of horizontal legislation the national environmental strategy has not yet been adopted. Administrative capacity for implementing the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directives was improved, but remains insufficient, notably at local level. A coordination body has been set up for cooperation and dialogue with civil society. The access to information and public consultation need to be improved in connection with the implementation of the EIA and SEA directives.
In the area of air quality alignment with the acquis continued, with the adoption of implementing legislation. Most of the air quality monitoring system was made operational.
In the area of waste management, alignment with the acquis continued, with the adoption of implementing legislation. Steps were taken to set up an integrated regional waste management system. Investment in this area is far from sufficient and needs to be increased with a focus on waste separation and recycling.
In the area of water quality, the national water strategy was adopted, together with amendments to implementing legislation. Alignment with the acquis in this area is still lagging behind and administrative capacity remains insufficient at both central and local levels. Further steps were taken towards drafting river basin management plans, and the protection and restoration water resources. River basin management structures are not yet operational. The lack of coordination between the competent authorities in the water sector continues to hamper implementation of the legislation. There was no progress in addressing the gaps in the water monitoring system. The 2013 programme for water resources provides limited financial allocations for infrastructure investment. Preparation for infrastructure investment is lagging behind and funding is low compared with the needs of the sector. No progress was made in applying the ‘polluter pays’ principle or on establishing an appropriate water pricing system. This lack of progress continued to hamper the operation of water treatment facilities and put at risk investment in the sector.
In the area of nature protection, amendments to the implementing legislation led to limited increased alignment with the acquis. Management plans for protected areas were drafted. Requirements for public consultation with stakeholders are still not properly applied. Implementation of these plans is still inadequate due to the lack of sustainable financing and insufficient monitoring.
With regard to industrial pollution control and risk management, work on alignment with and implementation of Seveso II Directive is progressing, with amendments to the Environmental Law. The integrated pollution prevention and control permitting process is behind schedule. The requirements for public consultation with stakeholders are still not properly applied.
In the area of chemicals, some progress was made on the implementation of the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restrictions of Chemicals (REACH) and on alignment with the Biocides Directive. In the area of noise, preparations remain at an early stage.
Good progress was made in the area of civil protection with participation in the IPA-funded civil protection cooperation project. The Directorate for Protection and Rescue participated in a number of regional meetings and training events in the framework of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South-Eastern Europe.
Regarding climate change, the country does not yet have a comprehensive countrywide climate policy or strategy. Substantial efforts are required in order to integrate climate change into other sectoral policies and strategies. The country regularly associated itself with EU positions in the international context. It has also previously associated itself with the Copenhagen Accord, but has not yet put forward a mitigation commitment by 2020. The country should consider making mitigation commitments consistent with those of the EU and its Member States for the purpose of the post-2020 climate agreement to be reached by 2015. It is also invited to start reflecting on its climate and energy framework for 2030 in line with the European Commission’s Green Paper ‘A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies‘.
As regards alignment with the climate acquis, implementing legislation on consumer information on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for new passenger cars was adopted. The country identified 40 installations for the purpose of future implementation of an emissions trading system. Significant efforts are required to strengthen the country’s monitoring, reporting, and verification capacity. The country participated regularly in climate work under the Regional Environmental Network for Accession (RENA). Efforts to raise awareness and promote cooperation between stakeholders should be intensified.
There was little effort made to strengthen administrative capacity for implementing and enforcing environmental and climate change legislation. It remains largely insufficient, both at national and at local level. Coordination between administrative bodies is not yet effective. Stakeholders are insufficiently involved in the decision-making process. The environmental monitoring and information system needs further development. Investment in the sectors continues to be extremely low in relation to needs. Full utilisation of external funding requires strengthening of capacities and prioritisation of the sector. Environmental protection and climate change requirements are still not well integrated into policy making and policy implementation in other areas.
Limited progress was made in the fields of environment and climate change. Further progress was made in legislative alignment with the EU environment acquis, in particular on horizontal legislation, waste management and air quality. There was limited progress in alignment with the EU climate acquis. Significant efforts are needed to implement the legislation, especially in the areas of water management, industrial pollution control, nature protection and climate change. Significant strengthening of administrative capacity, both at central and local level, is of the utmost importance. Investment needs to be significantly increased, especially in the waste and water sectors. Overall, preparations in the field of the environment are moderately advanced while preparations in the field of climate change remain at an early stage.
Source: EU 2013 progress report
(Source: Macedonian Ministry on Environment and Physical Planning / www.moepp.gov.mk )