1st Steering Committee of the EPPA project

On June 25, 2019, the Steering Committee of the EPPA project was convened for the first time in the premises of DG Environment, Brussels.

1st Steering Committee of the EPPA project

The project Steering Committee Meetings are attended by the EPPA Focal Points, nominated by each beneficiary, the European Commission and the contractor implementing the project. The Steering Committee provides oversight of the project implementation and achieved results, approves the strategic documents and provides a forum for a technical dialog between the European Commission and the project beneficiaries.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Davor Percan (Head of Unit, Bilateral, Regional and International Relations, DG Environment, European Commission) and co-chaired by Ms. Madalina Ivanica (Coordinator Enlargement Sector, Bilateral, Regional and International Relations, DG Environment, European Commission).

The meeting took place in the wake of the inception period. The Steering Committee reviewed the start-up activities of the EPPA Project which resulted in the endorsement of the project’s work plan and of the calendar of events for year one. The Committee also approved the inception report covering the inception period from February 13 to April 13, 2019. In addition, representatives of the European Commission provided an update on the latest EU policy and legislative developments in environmental field.

The policy updates gave the beneficiaries insight into the latest best practices in implementation of air quality legislation by Member States of the European Union. The speaker, Mr. Guido De Wilt (Policy officer, DG ENV, Unit Clean Air), highlighted useful outcomes of EU funded projects, that can serve the beneficiaries in their efforts to transpose and implement the relevant EU Acquis.

Mr. Paul Speight (Head of Unit, DG ENV, Unit Environmental Enforcement) presented a consolidated reflection on lessons learnt from infringement cases in the European Union. He encouraged the beneficiaries to take into account into their planning and alignment efforts three major lessons: 1) to develop the critical environmental infrastructure as soon as possible, 2) to make sure administrative and legal procedures are in place to address problems or complaints effectively, and 3) to develop strong organizational and governance structures.

Mr. Vujadin Kovacevic (DG ENV, Unit Biodiversity) presented the recent EU Pollinators Initiative addressing the collapse in numbers of pollinator insects, essential to preserve biodiversity and key to ensure sustainable agricultural yields. As it is a new area of policy focus, it is important that the beneficiaries take into account the Initiative and introduce it in their own environmental agenda. The Initiative sets strategic objectives and a set of actions to be taken by the EU and its Member States to address the decline of pollinators in the EU and to contribute to the global conservation efforts: 1) Improving knowledge of pollinator decline, its causes and consequences, 2) Tackling the causes of pollinator decline, and 3) Raising awareness, engaging society-at-large and promoting collaboration.

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