Second ECO SYSTEM programme conference

The second ECO SYSTEM conference, titled “ECO+SYSTEM=GOOD ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE,” was held late in October in Belgrade. More than 140 participants from civil society organizations, the interested public, and local self-governments, as well as representatives from the EU Delegation, the Swedish Embassy, international organizations, and foundations, attended the event.

Welcoming the presentation of Coalition 27’s Shadow Report, the first day of the ECO SYSTEM conference was aimed at civil society organizations that had received support during the third cycle of the ECO SYSTEM support program. The primary goal was to strengthen the capacities of civil society networks and organizations in monitoring and interpreting the European Commission’s Annual Progress Reports for Serbia. Special attention was given to Chapter 27, which addresses the environment and climate change and forms a crucial part of Cluster 4.

During the second day of the ECO SYSTEM conference,f the ECO SYSTEM conference, Coalition 27 presented the Shadow Report titled “A Green Agenda with No Agenda,” covering the period from April 2022 to April 2023. Additionally, a panel discussion titled “Challenges in Implementing Environmental Policies on a Local Level in the Republic of Serbia” took place. The panel included representatives from local self-governments in Bor and Subotica, as well as members of local citizens’ associations from Vršac and Arilje, along with a representative from the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities.

When it comes to the implementation of environmental policies on a local level in Serbia, there have been some positive steps. However, based on the research conducted by the citizen association Environmental Centre “Habitat” on funding environmental policies at different administration levels, a conclusion has been drawn that decision-makers in Serbia do not give priority to this sectoral policy.

The main conclusion that all panelists agreed upon is that poor administration capacities and insufficient funding remain the two main challenges in local self-governments in Serbia, which disables a more substantial implementation of environmental legislation and monitoring of the legislation’s implementation on local levels.

You can watch the recording of the panel discussion held during the presentation of the Shadow Report on Chapter 27 and find out what kind of challenges we face in the implementation of environmental protection policies at the local level in the Republic of Serbia.

The conference was held as part of the activities of the ECO SYSTEM environmental reforms supporting programme, implemented by the Young Researchers of Serbia and supported by Sweden.