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Open Regional Funds for South-East Europe

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: NGOs as the Driving Force behind Climate Protection and Sustainable Energy Policies

 

Challenges

The culture of public-policy dialogue on "Sustainable Energy" is in early stages in Southeast European (SEE) countries, compared to the situation in many EU countries. SEE countries have only recently been discovering the possibilities and qualities parliamentary democratic processes are providing for as regards the designing of policies on sustainable development. Inspired by the work of the Schools of Political Studies at national and regional level, national parliaments in these countries, especially visible through parliamentary hearings, are more vigorously addressing the topic of "Sustainable Energy". However, the weak inclusion of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in decision-making processes is often apparent. The establishment of a broad social consensus as the basis for the design and implementation of political measures in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energies, the effects of climate change and measures for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, is thus slowed down and limited.

Our Approach

Sub-project

Strengthening the Role of NGOs in Parliamentary Dialogue Processes relating to Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Efficiency

Commissioned by

Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Countries

Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia (FYR), Montenegro, Serbia

Main partners

The organizations of the network of Schools of Political Studies under the auspices of the Council of Europe in South-East Europe

Duration

06/2014 to 01/2016

This Sub-project builds on two previous measures for "public-policy dialogue on sustainable energy", within which the network of Schools of Political Studies was strengthened in its ability to deal with energy and climate change issues, and within which, in most Southeast European countries, first parliamentary hearings on "Sustainable Energy" have taken place. As part of this sub-project, the Open Regional Fund for Energy Efficiency (ORF-EE) supports the Schools of Political Studies to enable representatives of NGOs to take-up an impulse-giving role in parliamentary processes. Project partners support, in parallel, parliamentarians and other young politicians to pursue a broader approach in the forming of their political opinions – during technical events they promote the dialogue between political decision-makers and other groups of social actors. Moreover, Parliamentary Committees are directly advised on the design and organization of hearings. The cross-border knowledge exchange and learning plays an important role: For this purpose, an international conference will take place in autumn 2015 in Montenegro. It will provide the discussion on concrete political approaches public visibility. Besides German expertise, the international knowledge exchange includes incorporation of experiences of Croatian partners. The ORF-EE provides the Schools of Political Studies within this sub-project, in close coordination with an in parallel running project of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), which is implemented by the organization Baltic Environmental Forum Germany, crucial support.

 

Impacts

The sub-project aims to improve the political dialogue between NGOs and parliamentarians regarding sustainable use of energy and climate protection. This is than monitored by inclusion of NGOs in official parliamentary hearings. In addition, the sub-project contributes to parliamentarians in South-East Europe gaining on routine and experience in conducting parliamentary hearings on energy and climate protection issues

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STRONG SEE: STrengthening ROle of NGOs in the public dialogue on climate protection in South East Europe

STRONG SEE project wants to strengthen the role of non-governmental organisations in shaping the energy efficiency policies of the seven countries in South East Europe. Non-governmental organisations, as representatives of public, have the potential to act as mediators between different sectors of society and relevant decision makers. At the moment, the NGOs in the SEE region lack resources, knowledge and capacities to influence policy making, implementing and monitoring processes.

The main goal of the project is to build the capacities of non-governmental organisations in the seven South East European target countries for participation in public policy dialogue on climate change focusing on energy efficiency as a tool for climate mitigation.

Seven South East Europe target countries are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Project goals and expected results are:

1. Capacity building of non-governmental organisations

2. Improving the dialogue between NGOs and decision makers

3. Increasing the visibility of energy efficiency on the public agenda

Project target groups consist of:

- non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in seven countries,

- two secondary target groups – the general public and decision makers.

Wide range of activities will be organized. They can be divided in three main groups:

a.) Education on climate protection mechanisms:
  • the organisations will develop a short questionnaire for non-governmental organisations to find out about their capacity and knowledge on energy efficiency and climate change, networking and advocacy skills and experience in the public dialogue with decision makers and other stakeholders,
  • the partners DOOR and BEF will have a train-the-trainers workshop on energy efficiency and public dialogue for the seven political schools,
  • two one-day workshops will be organised in each of seven partner countries on the most relevant topics in climate protection.
b.) Dialogue and networking for participative policy processes:
  • In each participating country, the political schools will organise one round table with decision makers and NGOs
  • The regional conference will be organised. It will focus on the importance of participatory policy processes and strengthening the role of environmental and other interested NGOs in those policy cycles.
c.) Information dissemination:

the information is going to be spread by press releases, brochure “Effective participation in energy efficiency policies“ and through online communication channels.

The coordinating partners on this project are: Baltic Environmental Forum Germany (BEF) and Society for Sustainable Development Design (DOOR). Also, the following seven political schools will be responsible for the organization of the work in their countries: Academy of Political Studies in Albania, School of Political Studies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Academy for Political Development in Croatia, Prishtina Institute for Political Studies in Kosovo, Center for Research and Policy Making in Macedonia, Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Montenegro and Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence in Serbia.

PDI Project in the "Parliament Magazine"

The Parliament Magazine published a piece on the “Public Dialogue on Sustainable Use of Energy in South East Europe”, a long-term initiative aimed at achieving more responsible and effective energy policies in the region. The magazine is provided to all Members of the European Parliament, as well as officials of the European Commission, Council and the Committee of the Regions. This regional project is implemented by the school of political studies from the Western Balkans that operate under the auspices of the Council of Europe, with the support of the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ).

More information on the activities of individual organizations on both national and regional levels are available at the website of the project. For the Parliament Magazine article, click on the picture on the left.

 

The Parliament Magazine-short dragged

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Door Day with MPs, Members of an Informal Green Parliamentary Group in National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia


The first open door day with MPs, members of the Green Parliamentary Group (GPG), and representatives of relevant environmental civil society organizations (CSO) was held in the National Assembly on 19 June 2013. Seven members of the GPG talked with over 20 representatives of CSOs on three issues, one of them being energy efficiency.

 

An informal Green Parliamentary Group, which includes 24 MPs devoted to environmental issues, was founded in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia within a joint project of the Center for Modern Skills and the Belgrade Fund of Political Excellence and with the support of the Balkan Trust of Democracy. Members of the Green Parliamentary Group come from different political parties, proving that environmental issues are not constricted by political options. The goal of the Group is to promote environmental issues and give them priority during the decision making process. In order to improve dialogue between members of the Group and citizens as well as NGOs, the Green Dialogue web site has been launched as a focal point for exchanging information and raising concerns, but also as place from which environmental initiatives will start.

 

More info on conclusions from the energy efficiency group is available here (only in Serbian).

 

The Sixth Cycle of The “Public Dialogue on Sustainable Energy Use in South-East Europe”

 

On 13th June 2013, in the town of Stip, the sixth cycle of the “Public Dialogue on Sustainable Energy Use in South-East Europe” project was held.

 

This session was different from the previous ones; the opening speech was delivered by the mayor of Strumica, Mr. Ilco Zahariev. The mayor asked the participants at the end to bring accurate conclusions and recommendations which will serve as a road map for him and rest of the mayors in order to have precise directions during the further reforms and improvement of the local energy efficiency polices.

The first part of the session in the East Planning Region was devoted to the energy experts; Mr. Zoran Bogunovic presented the participants the Croatian experience in regards to the national energy efficiency policies as well as the successful case of the town of Sisak which in the last two years made great savings of energy and money as a result of the renovation and reconstruction of the public buildings. After this presentation, Mr. Igor Pancevski familiarized the representatives of the municipalities, NGO’s and the companies from the East Planning Region with the possibilities of working together and boosting in that way the energy performance of the municipalities, whereas Mr. Robert Sharlamanov highlighted that irresponsible use of the energy can foster the energy poverty which negatively affects the households, municipalities’ and national budgets.

 

At the end of the debate, several conclusions as recommendations were adopted: establishing national fund for energy efficiency, adoption and implementation of the books of rules for EE, facilitating the access to bank credits and loans which will facilitate the Public–private partnership contracting, adoption of law on energy efficiency, active participation of the municipalities in the gas network development, strong political will for EE policies, strengthening the professional staff in the municipalities, increasing the public awareness for EE, active involvement of the NGO sector in the EE project process as well as financial and staff assistance in the production of fusibility studies which aim improvement of the sustainable use of the energy.

Next session is planed for 20th June in the Southwest Planning Region in the town of Ohrid.

More information is available here.

The short documentary on EE best practices


The objective of the implementation of Public Dialogue Initiative in Albania will be the increasing of awareness of local authorities and the public in general on the importance of Energy Efficiency. In order to achieve this Albanian School of Political Studies (APS) aims to further focus on the citizens. This objective will be ensure through the media coverage, but also through the publication, roll-up banners and a short movie on the best practices on EE and RES, offering the right information on energy efficiency possibilities, strategies and networks and ensuring access of the general public to relevant information on the issue.

 

The APS started on the realization of the fist chapters of the short movie. This documentary will be produced with the aim to show the best practices on the EE and RES topic in Albania and will be further used as one of the promotion tools in the open exhibition in the regions but also as a promotional set in the future activities.

 

Seminar and Study Visit for Journalist

A two-day seminar for journalists, covering economic issues in Albanian media, was organized on 29-30 May 2013, in Durres. The aim of the seminar was to provide the participants with substantial knowledge on the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy topic, in order to help them better understand Albania’s challenges in the path towards the 20:20: 20 objectives. Three experts introduced the journalists on the actual legislative situation and its implementation on these sectors. Their presentations created the ground for discussions between participants and served as a possibility for their personal awareness but at the same moment as a special tool for further transmit this information to the public in general.

In the second day of the seminar, the journalists visited a farm in Marikaj village, near Durres, where the energy efficiency measures are applied in practice. The journalist welcomed this special opportunity and their impressions were very positive.

The next day, the first title of the daily economic newspaper, called "Ekonomia", was dedicated to the Energy Efficiency topic and with a special focus to the Public Dialogue Initiative activity in Albania and in the region.

Public Dialogue Initiative activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Within the Public Dialogue Initiative in the South East Europe and in cooperation with the GIZ office in Sarajevo, the 4th National seminar of Bosnia and Herzegovina School of Political Studies, titled “Public Dialogue for the Sustainable Use of Energy in SEE” was held in Banja Luka, from 23 to 26 May 2013.

36 students of the BH school, generation 2013, had an opportunity to discuss interesting topics related to sustainable use of energy, on several separate sessions

Ms Zeljka Cvijanovic, the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska was, among the others competent guest speakers, was one who delivered the lecture and answering on questions for almost two hours.

The Fifth Public Debate on ”Fostering Public Dialogue on Energy Efficiency on Local Level 2013”

On May 23, 2013 in Strumica was held the fifth public debate on ” Fostering public dialogue on energy efficiency on local level 2013” as part of the project” Public dialogue on sustainable energy use in south-east Europe.

This public debate was held in South-east Planning Region. On this public debate representatives from the municipalities of the Region were invited as well as representatives from the business and NGO sector.

Public debate covered three topics:

  • Instruments for institutional cooperation in implementation of the Energy Efficiency on local level
  • Fostering the use of renewable resources of energy on a local level: politics and institutions
  • Energy poverty: policy responses on local level

The topics were presented by two local experts and one international expert (Mr. Zoran Bogunovic, Zagreb, Croatia, Mr. Igor Pancevski, Skopje, Macedonia, and Mr. Robert Sharlamanov, Skopje, Macedonia).

Within this project, public debates will be held in eight regions in Macedonia.

The project is implemented by the Center for Research and Policy Making – CRPM in cooperation with the German Society for International Cooperation – GIZ and supported by Konrad Adenauer Shtiftung.

More information is available here.

Round table with MPs, Members of the relevant Parliamentary Committee in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia

Within the Public Dialogue Initiative on Sustainable Use of Energy that the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence is implementing with the support of the German International Cooperation (GIZ), a round table entitled “Legal Framework and Implementation in Improving Energy Efficiency” was held at the National Assembly on 16 May 2013. The goal of the round table organized in cooperation with the Parliamentary Committee on the Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy and the Committee on Environmental Protection was introducing their members to activities on improving energy efficiency conducted by the Ministry of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection and Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning.

The BFPE has been implementing this project since 2011, and although the focus of its second phase is on the role of local self-government in improving energy efficiency, cooperation with MPs continues. It is based on our belief that there is no development or democracy without a more responsible attitude towards energy.

More information is available here.

Conference “Energy. Development. Democracy. Successful Approaches for a New Energy Future in South East Europe”, 13th May 2013, Zagreb, Croatia

Society for Sustainable Development Design (DOOR), in cooperation with seven South East Europe partners, within the project PDI, organised the second conference “ENERGY. DEVELOPMENT. DEMOCRACY. SUCCESSFUL APPROACHES FOR A NEW ENERGY FUTURE IN SOUTH EAST EUROPE” held on May 13th 2013 at the Westin Hotel, Zagreb.

The aim of the Conference was to contribute the strengthening of public dialogue on the sustainable use of energy in the region of South East Europe.

Successful implementation of energy efficiency policies, which meet EU requirements while also meeting specific country conditions, requires public dialogue between representatives of parliament, local authorities and the public sector, business sector, media and civil society.

The conference also provided international communication between schools within the regional network, which will seek to contribute to the quality of the national public-policy dialogue processes.

Conference agenda is available here, while more info on the conference here.

The Fourth Public Debate on ”Fostering Public Dialogue on Energy Efficiency on Local Level 2013”

On April 23, 2013 in Skopje was held the fourth public debate on ”Fostering Public Dialogue on Energy Efficiency on Local Level 2013” as part of the project Public Dialogue on Sustainable Energy Use in South-East Europe.

This public debate was held in Skopje Planning Region. The event was jointly organized with representatives from Kosovo invited by the Prishtina Institute for Political Studies as part of the regional network of schools for public policies.

Public debate covered three topics:

·       Gasification, challenges of the local self-government

·      The capacities of the building sector in the Energy Efficiency and the Renewable Resources area on local level

·       Energy poverty: policy responses on local level

·       Role of Local Institutions in Monitoring Energy Efficiency Policies

·       Energy Efficiency for Sustainable municipal development

Two local and one international expert presented the above-mentioned topics (Mr. Darko Hecer, Zagreb, Croatia, Mr. Igor Pancevski Skopje, Macedonia, and Mr. Konstantin Dimitrov Skopje, Macedonia).

Besides representatives from municipalities, also on the public debate participated representatives from the business and NGO sector and the media. Within this project, public debates will be held in eight regions in Macedonia.

The project is implemented by the Center for Research and Policy Making – CRPM in cooperation with the German Society for International Cooperation – GIZ and supported by Konrad Adenauer Shtiftung.

More information is available here.

The first seminar of the European Integration and Local Development Project for decision makers from local communities in Eastern Serbia

The first seminar "Preconditions of EU Integration" was held from 19 to 21 April 2013 in Kladovo. Representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development and Local Self-government, who talked about current policies and plans of the Ministry, opened the seminar. The participants were particularly interested in topics like political parties and strengthening institutions, ways of financing local self-government, Serbia’s EU accession process, sustainable use of energy and energy efficiency etc.

More information is available here.

The Third Public Debate on ”Fostering Public Dialogue on Energy Efficiency on Local Level 2013”

On April 18, 2013 in Bitola was held the third public debate on ”Fostering Public Dialogue on Energy Efficiency on Local Level 2013” as part of the project Public Dialogue on Sustainable Energy Use in South-East Europe.

The third public debate was held in Pelagonija Planning Region and covered the municipalities within the region.

Public debate covered three topics:

·       Energy efficiency measures and the cooperation in implementation of energy efficiency on municipal level

·       Encouraging use of renewable sources of energy on local level: policies and institutions

·       Energy poverty: policy responses on local level

The topics were presented by three local experts – Mr. Konstantin Dimitrov, Mr. Igor Pancevskiand Mr. Robert Sharlamanov.

Besides representatives from municipalities, also on the public debate participated representatives from the NGO sector. Within this project, public debates will be held in eight regions in Macedonia.

The project is implemented by the Center for Research and Policy Making – CRPM in cooperation with the German Society for International Cooperation–GIZ.

More information is available here.

Montenegrin MPs Visited Energy Community Secretariat in Vienna

School of Democratic Leadership organized study visit to the Energy Community Secretariat (ECS) in Vienna from 3-5 April. The study visit was organized for the part of the target groups identified through the project Public Dialogue on Energy Efficiency – primarily for the representatives of the Parliamentary Committee for Economy, Finance and Budget - Mr. Aleksandar Damjanovic, Mr. Almer Kalac, Mr. Mladen Bojanic but also other interested groups Ms. Tijana Knezevic, representative of local government-President of Union of Municipalities of Montenegro, Mr. Rajko Golubovic and Mr. Bojan Zeković MB member and advisor to SDP parliamentary club.

This visit aimed to ensure that the selected representatives become familiar with the institutions of the Secretariat on the ground and learn more about its work especially in the light of the obligations that our country has when it comes to cooperation with this institution. This was the first visit of this type to the ECS in Vienna and experts from ECS had the opportunity for the first time to host and exchange with the parliamentarians from the region. Special support by Director Mr. Kopac was given to the organization of similar regional visits, since the ECS communication with the legislative branch of power is essential and it has not been satisfactory until now.

Joint Public Debate


 

The Center for Research and Policy Making in cooperation with the Pristina Institute for Political Studies – PIPS has organized joint public debate on Energy Efficiency:

The event was held in Prizren, Kosovo. The topics that were covered were the following:

·       Understanding Local and Community Governance of Energy

·       Energy Efficiency and best practices at local level

·       Encouraging use of renewable sources of energy on local level: policies and institutions

·       Energy poverty: policy responses on local level

·       Role of AKEE in implementing Energy Efficiency policies at the Local Level

·       The Role of Local Institutions in Monitoring of Energy Efficiency Policies

·       The role of Civil Society in initiating and implementing Energy Policies

The topics were covered both by Macedonian and Kosovo’s experts. There were 17 participants from Macedonia representing the local government, NGO Sector and the business sector.

The joint event was implemented by GIZ and supported by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung-KAS.

The First Public Debate on “Fostering Public Dialogue on Energy Efficiency on Local Level 2013″

On February 25, 2013 in Veles the first public debate on Fostering Public Dialogue on Energy Efficiency on Local Level 2013 was held as part of the project Public dialogue on Sustainable Use of Energy South-East Europe. Within this project, public debates will be held in eight regions in Macedonia.

The first public debate was held in Vardar Planning Region and covered nine municipalities (Municipalities Veles, Gradsko, Demir Kapija, Kavadraci, Lozovo, Negotino, Rosoman Sveti Nikole and Cashka).

Public debate covered three topics:

·      Tools for institutional cooperation in implementation of energy efficiency on municipal level

·       Encouraging use of renewable sources of energy on local level: policies and institutions

·       Energy poverty: policy responses on local level

 

The topics were presented by two local experts and one international expert (Mr. Zoran Bogunovic Zagreb, Croatia, Mr. Igor Pancevski Skopje, Macedonia, and Mr. Robert Sharlamanov Skopje, Macedonia).

Besides representatives from municipalities, also on the public debate participated representatives from the business and NGO sector.

The project is implemented by the Center for Research and Policy Making – CRPM in cooperation with the German Society for International Cooperation – GIZ.

More information is available here.

Conference “Citizen Participation in Energy Efficiency Action Planning“

On 7th February 2013, a one-day conference „Citizen Participation in Energy Efficiency Action Planning“ was held at the Journalist House in Zagreb, Croatia. Over 100 participants attended this event, representing public, business and civil sector from all parts of Croatia.

Conference was opened by DOOR's executive director Maja Božičević Vrhovčak, noting that the conference was organized with joined support from two projects, CENEP and PDI, financed by EU and GIZ respectively, with common goal to strengthen and support public dialogue on energy efficiency and wider application of energy efficiency measures. Davor Percan representing EU delegation in Croatia, Johannes Elle representing GIZ and Kristina Čelić, representing Croatian Ministry of Economy gave introductions.

The speakers discussed main topics which were in the focus of both of the projects, PDI and CENEP – Darko Šeperić from Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia talked about legal framework in the field of energy and social care presenting proposals for improvement, Dietmar Preinstorfer from E-Control Austria talked about strengthening and development of energy marked, and Ana-Maria Boromisa from Institute for International Relations discussed financial mechanism for supporting energy efficiency and presented results of the survey about public attitudes towards energy efficiency. In the last session the draft of background measures for NEEAP for sector of households for 2014-2016 which was drafted as result of set of public consultations and using results of public surveys, expert focus groups, round tables and workshops as well as many bilateral meetings with relevant stakeholders.

Photos from the conference can be found here.

Round Table on Energy Efficiency

The round table event gathered a considerable number of participants and most importantly the key stakeholders of Energy Efficiency. This one-day event was held on the 6th of February in Prishtina and its aim was to set up a ground for discussion among different actors on the Energy Efficiency sector. The round table was opened by the Executive Director of PIPS, Ms. Leonora Kryeziu, who talked about the importance of such dialogue and the contribution that civil society can give in the implementation of and compliance with European energy efficiency standards in Kosovo by initiating dialogue and partnership on these issues among various stakeholders (at both central and local levels, facilitating further inclusion of Kosovo in regional initiatives relevant for this and related areas, and public awareness on energy efficiency issues.

The current situation of the Legal and Policy Framework of Energy Efficiency, was discussed in the first panel, the Head of Energy Efficiency Agency Mr. Dragusha, spoke about the role of the agency in implanting the national Energy Efficiency Action Plan. While speaking about the role of the agency he said that Kosovo is still at the very beginning in terms of complying with the EU criteria and standards in the areas of energy and environment, including the specific crosscutting issue of sustainable use of energy. He emphasised the need for the creation of the fund for energy, he said that without the fund it is unlikely to expect the implantation of EE policies.

The legal and institutional framework of the Energy Efficiency sector was presented by Nezir Myrtaj, representative of the Ministry for Economic Development and Zenun Pajaziti, Member of Parliament and head of Committee for Economic Development, Infrastructure, Trade and Industry, Kosovo Assembly. It was said that in legal terms, it has a Law on Energy Efficiency in force since June 2011. This law governs the issue of energy efficiency, preparation and approval of energy efficiency plans and reporting on their implementation, determination of roles, duties and responsibilities of the institutions in charge of this issue, as well as addressing the obligations deriving from the Energy Community Treaty related to energy efficiency. It further obliges the ministry in charge of the energy sector to establish and Energy Efficiency Agency, a Commission for Certification of Energy Auditors and Managers, as well as to develop energy efficiency policies, as part of the Kosovo Energy Strategy, and an Energy Efficiency National Action Plan. Last but not least, it stipulates that Municipal Energy Offices shall be in charge of developing Municipal Energy Efficiency Plans.

The discussion in the panel continued on the concordance level of the national legislation and EU directives, which was presented by Naser Sahiti, professor at University of Prishtina. He compared national legal framework to EU directives and the concordance level between those two, he said that some work has been done in harmonizing the legislation but beyond the formal establishment of the Legal Framework and the Energy Efficiency Agency within the Ministry of Economic Development, not much has been achieved in terms of practical implementation of this law. More specifically, while the law foresees alignment with the EU legislation in issue areas such as energy labelling, eco design, energy performance of buildings and energy end-use efficiency, the accompanying action plan, aiming to increase efficiency by 9% in 2018, has yet to be adopted. The legal framework still needs to be completed, since implementing legislation foreseen by this Law is not yet in place. Only once the legislation is completed one can expect that the responsibilities of various stakeholders will be clarified and they will be capable of developing more feasible and realistic policies to ensure implementation and enforcement, thus improving the level of alignment and compliance with the relevant European standards.

The last contribution in this panel came from the representative of INDEP, Ms. Rinora Gojani.

She presented the research finds and input of INDEP on the Law of Energy Efficiency

The afternoon session panel discussions focused in the examples of best practices in Croatia and Lithuania by presenting success stories in Energy Efficiency. This experience exchange was presented by Mr. Zoran Bogunovic from Croatia and Ms. Ilze Purina from Lithuania.

During the discussion, the debate was oriented on the fulfillment need of legislative vacuum, as well as insufficient funds that are allocated for this sector. Among the issues raised, besides these concerning the legislation and implementation level, was the environmental pollutions in the name of energy efficiency. The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for Economic Development Mr. Zenun Pajaziti, stated the readiness of the Committee to cooperate with all actors interested to in completing and implementing the legal framework on Energy Efficiency.

Acknowledging that South-Eastern Europe aims raising 9% of Energy Efficiency until 2018, Political School emphasizes the importance of this project in generating political interest in advancing the capacities in achievement of the effective energy policies.

In order to achieve this, we affirm the need to collect the central level, as well as local level. Since our first activity has been focus on central level dialogue and its role, further we will have activities in local level.

Representatives of Montenegro’s School of Democratic Leadership visited Norway


Between 11th to 18th September 2012, the School for Democratic Leadership from Montenegro organized a seminar in Norway with one of the topics: dialogue on energy efficiency (EE). The seminar participants had the opportunity to learn about the way in which developed countries are treating this issue. In meetings with representatives of the Conservative and Labour parties of the Norway participants had the opportunity to learn about characteristics of legal framework in this field and the implementation of policies. On this occasion a visit to one of the most advanced recycling centers in Europe GLOR in Lillehammer was organized. The seminar participants also met with representatives of local authorities, which have also conveyed their knowledge of good and efficient energy management at the local level. In addition to the visit, lectures and presentations were organised on the situation in Montenegro when it comes to EE in witch we tried to establish a promising parallels with the Norwegian system. The seminar was organized for a group of 25 participants, representatives of political parties, media, civil society and the business sector.

 

 

Beginning of the second phase of the “Public Dialogue on Sustainable Use of Energy in the South East Europe” regional project


The second phase of the Public Dialogue on Sustainable Use of Energy in the South East Europe project started with the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) and its Energy Efficiency Open Regional Fund for South East Europe (ORF-EE) and seven Western Balkan schools of political studies of the Council of Europe, which marked the continuation of GIZ support to this project. The Memorandum was signed in Podgorica on 13 December 2012.

Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Montenegro HE Pius Fischer opened the event, followed by short introductions by Mr. Boris Raonić from the School of Democratic Leadership and Mr. Johannes Elle, Manager of the GIZ ORF-EE project.

The signing was followed by a presentation of the results of analyses realized in the six media houses in Montenegro. Relevant experts in cooperation with the School of Democratic Leadership, the Montenegro partner on this regional project, conducted the analysis.

 

 

 

Two-day conference "Activate Community – Through Joint Actions to Lower Energy Bills“
On 31th of January and 1st of February 2012 in Zagreb, a two-day conference "Activate Community – Through Joint Actions to Lower Energy Bills“ was held. The conference gathered 140 representatives of public, civil society, educational and private sectors from all parts of Croatia as well as the neighbouring countries.
The opening speeches were held by Maja Božičević Vrhovčak - president of Society for Sustainable Development Design, minister Mirela Holy (Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection), Johannes Elle (German Association for International Cooperation - GIZ) Marina Buza Vidas (Croatian Office for Cooperation with NGOs) and Marijan Maras (City Office for Energetics, Environment Protection and Sustainable Development, City of Zagreb).

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During the first day the speakers discussed the importance of energy savings and energy efficiency projects in local communities; the activities of primary and secondary schools as well as civil society organizations; the role of media. At the end of the day, ENCRO competition in energy savings and energy efficiency projects was announced.

The second day was dedicated to workshops during which the participants had the opportunity to share the experiences and to propose ideas on how to encourage and promote small energy saving and energy efficiency projects through local communities, schools and CSOs that will be eligible to apply for the competition.

newsnews The aim of the conference was to stimulate public dialogue on energy efficiency and to support wider implementation of energy efficiency measures through activities on local level.
The conference resulted with the adoption of common conclusions that can be found in the attachment.

 

 

 

 

 

Announcement of the conference “Activate Community – Through Joint Actions to Lower Energy Bills” Zagreb, Croatia, 31st of January and 1st of February 2012
The two-day conference “Activate Community – Through Joint Actions to Lower Energy Bills” will take place in the Arcotel Allegra Hotel in Zagreb, Croatia, on 31st of January and 1st of February 2012. The aim of the conference is to stimulate public dialogue on energy efficiency and to support wider implementation of energy efficiency measures primarily on the local level. The organization of the conference is the result of cooperation of the projects: „Public Dialogue on the Sustainable Use of Energy in South-East Europe“ and “ENCRO - Promoting and Testing Soft Measures for Energy Saving in Croatia”.

The speakers will thus discuss the key issues and fields to which energy efficiency can make the most significant contributions on the local level, which are: ▪ good practice examples in energy efficiency measures implementation on the local level; ▪ ways of motivating citizens to participate in the activities needed to achieve energy savings; ▪ examples of education and active involvement of primary and secondary school students in the energy saving and energy efficiency projects; ▪ examples and ways of including NGOs in promoting energy saving measures and energy efficiency at the local level; ▪ importance of energy saving and energy efficiency and benefits for citizens and community which arise from undertaking those actions; ▪ possibilities for individuals at all levels to contribute to national and global goals of environmental protection and climate change combat by their individual actions and to positively impact on decreasing their own energy bills and to improve their living conditions.
Conference ENCRO PDI Invitation Agenda

President of Croatia Ivo Josipović has received representatives of DOOR
President of Croatia Ivo Josipović has received representatives of the Academy for Political Development and Society for Sustainable Development Design (DOOR).

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President of Croatia Ivo Josipović has received "η award" which has been awarded by the network of political schools and civil society organisations from southeast European region gathered within the initiative Public Dialogue on the Sustainable Use of Energy in South-East Europe. President of Croatia has thanked for the award and noted that he will continue to publicly advocate promotion of energy efficiency and raising awareness on the need for responsible and rational energy usage and environmental responsibility. Award was presented by the representatives of the Academy for Political Development and DOOR in Zagreb, in Croatia.

Conference "Energy-Development-Democracy: Shaping a New Energy Future for South-East Europe", Belgrade, 17-19 October 2011
The conference "Energy-Development-Democracy: Shaping a New Energy Future for South-East Europe" was organized in Belgrade from 17th till 19th October, 2011, by regional political schools lead by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence within the Serbian SEECP C-i-O and under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Serbia.

newsnewsThe Conference has brought together representatives of parliaments, governments, European Parliament, energy industry and business, academia, international organizations, international financial institutions, NGOs, task forces and initiatives, as well as bilateral and multilateral donors. 250 participants from 15 countries have attended the conference and 38 of them were speakers who have addressed the participants and discussed the subjects presented at the conference. Here you may find the Program of the Conference.
The aim of the Conference was to contribute to strengthening the public dialogue on the sustainable use of energy in the region of South East Europe and provide participants with an opportunity to demonstrate the relevance of their activities for reaching the EU 20-20-20 goals, becoming more and more relevant for the South East European region taking into account its European prospects. Here you may find the Conclusions of the Conference.
newsnewsAt the opening of the Conference the annual „η Award“ was presented and given to the winners. The „η Award“ is assigned to the persons who have used their public standing to communicate the need for persistent care about energy security, energy efficiency and environment protection. The winners for the 2011 are: Boris Tadic, the President of the Republic of Serbia; Ivo Josipovic, the President of the Republic of Croatia and Antonije Pusic (alias Rambo Amades) popular musician and composer from Montenegro.
The organizer of the conference was the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence with its partners from the initiative “Public Dialogue for the Sustainable Use of Energy in the South East Europe“: the Academy for Political Development and the Society for Sustainable Development Design (DOOR) from Croatia, and the School of Democratic Leadership from Montenegro. The initiative is supported by the International Visegrad Fund, and the Open Regional Fund for South East Europe - Energy Efficiency (ORF-EE), implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“Achieving social, environmental and economic sustainability through energy efficiency”
On 30th of September and 1st of October 2011 in Zagreb a two-day conference “Achieving Social, Environmental and Economical Sustainability Through Energy Efficiency“ was held. The conference gathered 113 representatives of governmental, business and civil society sectors from all parts of Croatia as well as the neighbouring countries.

news During the first day the speakers discussed the key issues and fields to which energy efficiency can contribute the most. These are primarily: security of energy supply, decrease of energy poverty, environmental protection and tackling of the climate change, job creation and economical development.
The second day was dedicated to three workshops: Role of Media and Journalists in Promoting Energy Efficiency, Financing Energy Efficiency Programmes and Social and Environmental Protection through Energy Efficiency, during which the participants had the opportunity to share experiences and come to some new conclusions.
Since the participants have different professional backgrounds, it didn’t come as a surprise that many questions arose during the first day, as well as the tendency to question the speakers’ statements. Consequently, during the workshops held on the second day, a number of fertile discussions were initiated.
A wide range of participants proves that the subject of energy efficiency requires the involvement of a broad range of experts, as well as the concerned public. A great number of questions shows us that the interest in the subject already exists, that further education is necessary and that the interdisciplinary approach is inevitable.

Promotion of Sustainable Office Management through Energy Efficiency
The three-day seminar on the topic “Promotion of Sustainable Office Management through Energy Efficiency” organized by the School of Democratic Leadership (SDL) with the financial support of the German International Cooperation (GIZ) was held at the “Lipka” Hotel in Kolašin from September 8-10.

The goal of the third in a series of seminars within the regional initiative aimed at promoting the public dialogue on sustainable use of energy was to further support the public dialogue on energy efficiency and wider application of energy efficiency measures at work place.
The seminar gathered former alumni of the School of Democratic Leadership who expressed their interest in this topic, including representatives of the national and local legislative power, members of Main and Executive Boards of the parliamentary political parties, employees in local self-government, organizations of civic society as driving engines of social change, media representatives and others.
news news Apart from the presentation of the Green Office concept, which was held by UNDP Croatia Program Manager Goran Čačić, the participants had the opportunity to get familiar with the national legislation, institutional and regulatory framework in the area of energy efficiency as well as with the activities of the Sector for Energy Efficiency within the Ministry of Economy to the Government of Montenegro, which were represented by adviser Božidar Pavlović, and coordinator of the World Bank Project for Energy Efficiency in Montenegro Biljana Maslać.
Participants were presented the activities of the Capital City in this area as well as the Action Plan for Sustainable Use of Energy as a Resource by representatives of the Capital City Tanja Drakulović and Boban Ceković.
Representatives of NGO’s Expeditio and Green Home Biljana Gligorić and Sanja Svrkota informed the participants about the past and current activities of the two organizations in the area of sustainable building, environmental protection and energy efficiency promotion.
The “Green Office“ concept, which was introduced to the participants, is a group of activities that should be practiced by employees a as part of their regular activities in order to reduce the negative effect on environment and global warming and increase the efficiency of use of resources in their daily office management.
The participants in the seminar agreed that there are huge saving potentials when it is about the office management and that a continuous education of employees is required, which will influence the raising of awareness and the motivation for a change in behavior. Although the acts and behavior of individuals are measurable and palpable factors, the will and decisiveness of the management to implement such measures is also needed.

Public Dialogue on Sustainable Use of Energy in South-East Europe
The cycle of nation seminars within the regional project "Public Dialogue on Sustainable Use of Energy in South-East Europe" was continued in Subotica from 1st to 3rd of July 2011.

news The topic of the seminar was energy efficiency in Serbian sectors of oil, gas, electricity and heating, from the angle of public enterprise directors, as well as the critical outlook from independent and opposition experts. The examples of good practice from abroad (Slovakia in this case) and Serbia (Varvarin municipality) were also presented at this seminar. The turnout of participants was very good. From the institution of the National Assembly there were more than 20 representatives, while the number of MPs themselves reached 17 from many different political parties. It is important to note the attendance of the Chair of the Committee on Industry which later resulted in public hearing being held in the National Assembly in regards to the passing of the Energy Law. Also another great debate incentive at the seminar was the attendance of representatives from the relevant ministries as well as public enterprises. Other participants that almost counted 50 in total came from private business, civil sector, media and local government.
Seminar was closed with announcements for further activities, mainly regional conference from 17th to 19th of October, and third national seminar at the end of November/beginning of December 2011.

Public Dialogue on Energy Efficiency Promotion Initiated
The initiative „Public Dialogue on the Sustainable Use of Energy“, organized by the School of Democratic Leadership, has gathered, for the first time, the members of the parliamentary Committee on Economy, Budget and Finance and the Committee on Tourism, Agriculture, Environmental Protection and Spatial Planning, as well as representatives of the media, NGO sector, Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro and few leading local companies dealing with the market sector of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, in order to initiate an open dialogue at one place.

The event was opened by the GIZ Country Director for Montenegro, Mr. Peter Bonin, who emphasized in his introductory speech the importance of the public dialogue with a view to develop a higher quality in applying the legislation in this area.
The project is implemented with the financial support of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and is a part of the regional initiative „Public Dialogue on the Sustainable Use of Energy in Southeast Europe,” which is implemented by the members of the Network of Schools of Political Studies that operates in the Southeast Europe under the auspices of the Council of Europe.
news news The participants had the opportunity to exchange opinions and experiences in this area with the main technical adviser to UNDP in Croatia, Zoran Morvaj and Deputy Minister of Economy, Dragica Sekulic, and to get answers from them to specific questions concerning the Montenegrin institutional, legislative and regulatory framework, and also to get familiar with experiences and good practice examples from Croatia and the European Union.
Participants agreed that; efficient consumption of energy, reduction of costs and harmful emissions, as well as proactive management of resources on local, national or regional level are nowadays one of the most urgent tasks.
Later in the seminar, it was discussed about energy efficiency and energy security, capacity building for implementation of the Law on Energy Efficiency in Montenegro, monitoring and verification of the results, as well as on the role of the national parliament in that area.
The following MPs were present at the seminar: Aleksandar Damjanovic, Dragoslav Šcekic, Zarija Pejovic, Radojica Zivkovic and Strahinja Bulajic who have actively participated, strenghtenting the dialogue between MPs (members of relevant Commitees) and representatives of non governmental organizations, experts from the economy sector and representatives of the media and this was the goal of the organizers of the seminar.
More information on this event you can find here.

Joint session of the Environmental Protection Committee and the Committee on the Economy of the Croatian Parliament
As the result of the initiative of DOOR and Academy for Political Development and with the support of the Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship, the joint session of the Environmental Protection Committee and the Committee on the Economy was held in the Croatian Parliament on June 15, 2011. The subject was related to realization of the energy efficiency policy in Croatia.

newsMore than 20 relevant representatives of the scientific institutions and faculties were present at the session, including representatives of the business sector and environmental NGOs as well. The common approach was that more support should be given to the implementing bodies of the energy policy with special accent related to Croatian economy, that its domestic industry should turn to energy production based on renewable energy sources and implementation of energy efficiency projects.
The initiative “Public Dialogue on the Sustainable Use of Energy in South-East Europe” supported by GIZ, was presented at the session, because its goals are related to the implementation of energy efficiency policy. It was also emphasized that Croatia, as the regional leader in the area of energy efficiency, should disseminate its knowhow and experience to the countries in the region.
The legislative frame of the Republic of Croatia, which is completely harmonized with EU legislative, was presented, as well as the activities conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship related to implementation of energy efficiency policy. The role of Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund was mentioned related to financing energy efficiency projects and programmes.
It was also mentioned that the law related to regulation of renewable energy production is expected to be established by the end of 2011, as well as other packages of energy related laws which should be synchronized with EU directives. The importance of further and wider dialogue on energy efficiency policies was concluded at the end of the session.

Public dialogue on sustainable use of energy in Southeast Europe
With the seminar "Public dialogue on sustainable use of energy in Southeast Europe", that has been held from 13 to 15 May in Nis, BFPE started a cycle of national seminars within the regional program "Dialogue on Energy in South East Europe", implemented in partnership with the political schools from Croatia and Montenegro, with the generous support of the German international cooperation (GIZ).

news The strategic objective of this initiative is to stimulate quality public dialogue on sustainable energy use, primarily relying on the capacity building of key stakeholders and public decision makers
The emphasis is on energy efficiency given the enormous importance of the topic for all countries of South East Europe.
The seminar participants were representatives of the Serbian Parliament, civil society organisations, industry and the media.