The participants of the workshop came from the relevant authorities of the EPPA beneficiaries. They represented the relevant Ministries (Environment, Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, Interior) and other institutions associated with forest governance (forest management companies, universities, municipalities, customs administration, state inspectorates). Civil society was also represented by the National Association of Private Forest Owners of North Macedonia (NGO).
The speakers represented a wide range of EU Member States’ experience. There were experts from the competent authorities from Slovenia, Hungary Bulgaria and Croatia. One speaker represented Austria’s Criminal Intelligence Service, from the unit dealing with environmental crimes. In addition, the programme also included a speaker from an international organization active in forestry projects in the Western Balkans, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and a representative from the non-profit organization Connecting Natural Values and People (CNVP), which works on forest governance initiatives in the region.
The workshop’s main outputs were:
- Review of the state of alignment with the EUTR in EPPA beneficiaries
- Enhanced understanding of the challenges and tasks connected with the implementation of the EUTR
- Enhanced exchange of experiences and knowledge between the beneficiaries and EU Member states regarding the implementation of EUTR
- Enhanced regional cooperation between the EPPA beneficiaries regarding enforcement of timber legal dispositions, with a focus on cross-border trade
- Identified key challenges for the implementation of the EUTR in EPPA beneficiaries
- Initiated cooperation between Bulgaria and Turkey for the sharing of technical platform to track internal timber shipments