Regional cooperation for a better environment in the Western Balkans

Practice shows us that regional cooperation and a multidisciplinary approach is essential when it comes to energy policy, biodiversity and environmental protection as well as fulfillment of international obligations. At the same time, cross-border consultations and analyses of cumulative effects of energy, climate and environmental programmes, policies and projects are very often neglected, procedures are frequently breached, especially in the context of the pandemic.

With this initiative, RERI aims to strengthen regional cooperation between civil society organisations (CSOs), the academic community, legal practitioners and activists in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo* to support implementation of the Western Balkans Green Agenda in energy transition, climate change and sustainable development, as well as EU accession of the Western Balkans region. Taking into account the similarities of the legal framework in these countries, RERI will aim to strengthen the capacities of local civil society organisations to tackle environmental issues from a legal perspective and safeguard citizens’ rights to a healthy and clean environment.

Objectives:

1. Strengthening cooperation between civil society organizations and activists from the Western Balkans region and to share (procedural and legal) know-how in court and administrative procedures where the public interests are jeopardized;

2. Improving quality and impact of cross-border consultations process over the projects and plans with potential adverse transboundary environmental impacts;

3. Facilitating adoption and application of EU and Energy Community environmental and energy acquis and standards, and to improve law enforcement pertaining to environmental related legal framework in WB countries.

Target groups:

Competent ministries, legal experts, experts in environmental protection, spatial planning and protection of cultural heritage and civil society organizations in the Western Balkans region, international organizations and EU organisations and institutions.

The project is implemented from the 1st of May until the 31st of December 2021, with the support of the European Fund for the Balkans. 

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.