Newsletter no. 2, October 2019 - March 2020

Dear Reader / Dear EPPA Follower,

Welcome to EPPA’s second newsletter. We hope that you are staying healthy and safe in the current difficult circumstances shaped by COVID-19 outbreak.

In this issue, you will find the overview of events and topics covered by EPPA and project related initiatives in the period October 2019 - March 2020.

The current issue will give you an overview of the project activities  within the following areas:

è Cross cutting issues 

è Waste management 

è Water management

è Air quality

è Nature protection


COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on project implementation

March 2020 - ongoing

The recent worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has impact also on the project implementation. Two events that had been planned for March had to be cancelled. However, in order to mitigate the delays and to continue the project's activities, the workshops will be conducted via webinars. The first online event - CSO regional consultation meeting, is planned for May 6th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak the project calendar of events was already adjusted and will be updated as needed.

The project team will deploy measures to work via teleconference meetings and intensify communication via phone and email with the national focal points and other stakeholders to continue project intensive implementation. Other work will proceed normally.

Open Accession Talks with Albania and North Macedonia

March, 2020

The Council of the EU gave a green light to opening an accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. Following the decision, the Commission will draw up a framework for negotiations with the two countries, which are now joining Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey as candidates who are negotiating. That decision gives additional impulse for EPPA operation with the view of exchanging experience between project beneficiaries related to environment acquis implementation.

Compliance checks

November, 2019

The project has so far responded to, and delivered, two compliance check requests. In November 2019, the project team prepared the second compliance check report on Kosovo*’s “Administrative Instruction for limitation of emission of pollutants into the air from stationary pollution sources” against Directive 2010/75/EU, Directive 2001/80/EC, and Directive 2010/75/EU.

Involvement of the national Civil Society Organisations 

October 2019 - March 2020

The list of CSOs to be involved in EPPA activities was built and updated with the assistance of the European Union Delegations in each beneficiary and in consultation with the EC. The representatives of relevant CSOs took part in seven TAIEX-EPPA regional and national workshops, held between October 2019 - March 2020.

Additionally, EPPA team launched the organization of a regional consultation meeting for Civil Society Organizations. It was preceded by a written consultation process with CSOs on identification of the main priorities and challenges in the context of EU accession, the newly launched EU Green Deal and respective Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the event planned for March 4th, was cancelled. Currently the project team is working to conduct the consultation meeting via webinar. The meeting is expected to take place in the first week of May.

Upcoming events:

May 6, 2020, webinar

EPPA Regional Meeting of the Environmental Civil Society Organisations


National consultation on waste management 

October 2019 - February 2020

The EPPA Team / Senior Non-Key Waste Management Expert, Mr. Wim Van Breusegem, proceed and completed national waste consultations. The consultation meetings were structured around key components of an Integrated Waste Management Systems. Meetings with key officials from the authorities responsible for waste management and with other relevant stakeholders have been undertaken in Albania (8th October), Montenegro (10th October), Kosovo* (12th November), North Macedonia (13th November) and Turkey (20-22nd January). 

The priority topics that are common to all EPPA countries have been identified and summarized in the mission report. These topics will be also covered by sub-regional and national workshops which are currently under preparation.

Upcoming events:

May 12, 2020, webinar

TAIEX EPPA Sub-regional Workshop on Creating Integrated Waste Management Systems: Challenges and Lessons Learnt from EU Member States’ Experience;

beneficiaries: Albania, Kosovo*, North Macedonia

June 2, 2020, webinar

TAIEX EPPA Sub-regional Workshop on Creating Integrated Waste Management Systems: Challenges and Lessons Learnt from EU Member States’ Experience;

beneficiaries: Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkey


TAIEX EPPA Workshop on building coherence and synergy in the implementation of MSFD and WFD: Water management issues facing land-locked EPPA countries

October 15-16, 2020

The regional workshop on “Building coherence and synergy in the implementation of MSFD and WFD: Water management issues facing land-locked EPPA countries” took place on 15-16 October, 2019, in Skopje, North Macedonia.

The workshop gave participants an opportunity to cross-learn about the challenges and perspectives in establishing regional cooperation particularly in landlocked EPPA countries. The workshop provided deeper understanding of the synergies and differences between the WFD and the MSFD and enhanced the capacity to formulate and implement strategies and programs of measures by linking them with the country’s overall development strategies and international requirements.

TAIEX EPPA Workshop on the Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in Montenegro

December 5-6, 2019

The regional workshop on the Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive took place on 5-6 December 2019, in Podgorica, Montenegro.

The aim of the workshop was to provide advice so as to strengthen the national capacity of Montenegro for effectively addressing the large number of implementation challenges of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). There were provided guidance on the designation of new Supporting Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), on collective sub-regional action and transboundary management of the Adriatic Sea. The meeting also encouraged dialogue between the multiple stakeholders in Montenegro regarding the establishment of MPAs and other nature conservation matters, including fisheries.

Upcoming events:

May 19-20, 2020, webinar

TAIEX EPPA National workshops on the Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive;

beneficiaries: Albania

May 26-27, 2020, webinar

TAIEX EPPA National workshops on the Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

beneficiaries: Bosnia and Herzegovina


TAIEX EPPA Regional workshop on the implementation of IED

November 19-20, 2019 

The regional workshop on Industrial Emissions Directive in EPPA Countries – Current Status, New Developments took place on November 19-20th in Ankara, Turkey.

Seeking to both pass knowledge and experience from EU Member States and the EU in general, the speakers brought forward their countries’ approach to the implementation of Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), namely Austria, Croatia and Spain. Participants of the workshop were provided with latest developments in the implementation of IED, inspection and permitting processes together with an overview on requirements for Transitional National Plans. The workshop succeeded in increasing the knowledge of IED, environmental permitting and inspection processes, derogations to permit procedure and preparation of transitional national plans.

TAIEX EPPA Regional Workshop on Directive on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants

January 16-17, 2020

The regional workshop on the “Directive on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants – Current Status, New Developments” took place on 16-17 January 2020, in Vienna, Austria.

The aim of the workshop was to increase the knowledge of the Directive on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants (NECD) and its implementation. The workshop was built on the current state of the implementation in the EPPA countries. The special emphasis was put on the topics such as the changes compared to the repealed Directive 2001/81/EC, preparation of national air pollution control programmes (NAPCP), emission inventories and projections, monitoring of air pollution impacts.

Regional Symposium on Air Quality in Cities

January 30-31, 2020 

The Regional Symposium was held on 30-31 January in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The symposium brought together international experts and companies that implement projects in the field of environmental management, as well as representatives of authorities and international institutions.

The aim of the Symposium was to exchange knowledge and experience, to promote new technologies in the field of air quality management,  as well as to seek guidance on how to further combat the strong negative impact of air pollution on the health of the population in urban areas. Mr Christian Nagl from Umweltbudesmat GmbH, EPPA key expert, delivered a presentation on air quality management in the EU.

Upcoming events:

June 9-10, 2020, webinar

TAIEX EPPA Regional workshop on Industrial Emissions Directive - Current Status, New Developments

all beneficiaries


Biodiversity in the Western Balkans and Turkey

November 19, 2019

The regional workshop on “Biodiversity in Western Balkans and Turkey” took place on November 19, 2019, in Brussels.

Western Balkans and Turkey are identified as being Biodiversity hotspots by the IUCN. The particular features of interest being the extensive mountain areas, relatively unspoiled river and lake systems and the coastline. In the Western Balkans in particular these resources are frequently covering the territory of several countries and their effective protection and management requires good trans-boundary cooperation. These areas support significant populations of endemic species, large carnivores and are of value for migratory birds. The biodiversity of this region is under threat from the impacts of development, particularly for tourism, hydroelectricity, and abandonment and decline of agricultural land. The conference goal was to elevate the priority of regional cooperation on biodiversity, both at policy and technical levels, in the EPPA beneficiaries. 

INTERPOL meeting on Forestry Crime for European Countries in Lyon, France

December 10-12, 2019

The International Meeting on Forestry Crime for European Countries took place at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France on 10-12th December 2019. The objective of the workshop was to strengthen law enforcement capabilities to address criminality in the forestry sector. EPPA supported participation of Representatives of Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

EUSAIR meeting on Development of joint management plans for cross-border habitats and ecosystems with particular reference to the large carnivores

December 17, 2019

EPPA project, represented by team leader- Mihail Dimovski and senior expert- Ventzislav Vassilev, took part in the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) Roundtable on the Development of joint management plans for cross-border habitats and ecosystems with particular reference to large carnivores, organized by the Serbian Presidency in Belgrade, December 17, 2019. Mr. Vassilev presented work done so far for the Green Infrastructure study in terms of mapping large carnivores in the WB region and other study outputs.

TAIEX EPPA Regional Workshop on exchange of information and best practices on managing illegal timber

February 19-20, 2020

The regional workshop on “Exchange of information and best practices on managing illegal timber” took place on 19-20 February 2020, in Skopje, North Macedonia. The main aim was to foster cooperation and information exchange and to ensure transparency and legitimacy in the process of preparation to incorporate and implement EUTR in the EU enlargement countries. The workshop provided a useful forum for the beneficiaries to discuss the current management of timber in the region, and to learn from EU MS experiences with the implementation of the EUTR and FLEGT regulation.

Upcoming events:

June 24-25, 2020, webinar

TAIEX EPPA Regional Workshop presenting Green Infrastructure study and its results

beneficiaries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia  

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

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of NIRAS IC Sp. z o.o. and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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