Final Event of the project “EU for better environment” held
December 23, 2021
The final event of the project “EU for better environment” was held on 23 December 2021, right after the opening of Cluster 4 in Serbia’s EU accession negotiations on 14 December 2021. Cluster 4 on the Green Agenda and sustainable connectivity is covering four negotiating chapters, amongst them Chapter 27 on the environment and climate change to which the outputs of this project belong. Together with overview of the project outputs the final event was an opportunity to present the opening of Chapter 27 as well.
The “EU for better environment” provided support to the Ministry of Environmental Protection in the period from January 2019 to December 2021 in increasing the alignment with the EU environment acquis, through improved strategic and institutional frameworks. Accordingly, the project activities were focused on strengthening strategic policy, legal and institutional environmental frameworks for selected priority directives in horizontal, air and chemicals sectors.
The project delivered especially: Report on status of approximation; Directive and Regulation Specific Implementation Plans (DSIPs) in the following areas of the environmental acquis: horizontal (INSPIRE Directive), air and chemicals (REACH and BPR Directives). Its results also included Draft Programme of Air protection of the Republic of Serbia with Action plan shortly overviewed by Assistant Minister Aleksandra Imsiragic Djuric, and update of the Multiannual Investment and Financing Plan presented by Assistant Minister Sandra Dokic, from the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
"We had an open consultation process from the very beginning because this topic deserves it. We have been working on developing a prioritised Programme that is important to all of us: for health, air quality and environmental quality," said Assistant Minister Aleksandra Imsiragic Djuric.
The draft of the Programme went further into the procedure, it was sent to other ministries, followed by key adoption steps by Serbian Government and further implementation of the Programme of Air Protection of the Republic of Serbia for the period from 2022 to 2030 with the Action Plan.
"The project has yielded extremely significant results, especially because the project delivered final results at the moment Cluster 4 and Chapter 27 opened, respectively. Although Serbia has submitted its negotiating position in this Chapter in 2020, the EU, meanwhile, has issued new Directives, which involve harmonising and updating the negotiating position. This is also the significance of this project, which has drafted Specific Implementation Plans that represent part of negotiation position and contain arguments for transitional periods," explained Assistant Minister Sandra Dokic. Multiannual Investment and Financial Plan (MIFP) is also part of negotiation position that presents costs and provides sources of funding, based on which projects are defined and applied further to IPA funds, donor community, and development banks. Based on this significant document it is also decided which projects can be financed from the national budget. Insofar, there was MIFP 1 that covered water and waste management, and through MIFP 2 this project enabled review of funding needed for air quality, chemicals and INSPIRE Directive.
EAS3 Project Director Stevan Pechitch presented overview of all results of the project saying: “DSIPs/RSIPs are serving as a guidance for smooth and cost-efficient implementation of measures in line with EU Directives’s requirements and the Programme for Air Protection is a long-term strategic document that is determined as an instrument of national policy and planning in field of air quality.” EAS3 Project Director Stevan Pechitch emphasized that participation and ownership of the project outcomes ensured support and active involvement of stakeholders that is very good basis for negotiations within Chapter 27.