Sustainable Use of Energy in South-East Europe

EnergyTechnical ArticlesSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 1/2015

The initiative for establishing a public dialogue on the sustainable use of energy in South East Europe was launched by the members of the network of schools for political studies in South East Europe, under auspices of the Council of Europe, with the support of German International Cooperation and its Open Regional Fund for Energy Efficiency (GIZ-ORF-EE) and Visegrad International Fund.

The Initiative was taken by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (Serbia), School for Democratic Leadership (Montenegro) and Academy for Political Development (Croatia) in cooperation with NGO DOOR (Croatia).

The common goal of the Initiative is to lend support to increasing energy efficiency by 20% until 2020 through development promotion and successful implementation of relevant policies. Energy efficiency is a priority of the European Union, as it represents the quickest way to achieve the strategic goals for mitigation of climate changes, providing of better energy security and sustainable economic development.

Saving energy is of the highest importance for the citizens, as it is directly related to increasing their welfare and quality of life. Therefore, the creators of the Initiative tend to get more focus to the subject of energy efficiency in the region of South East Europe as well.

While the states in the region of South East Europe achieve relatively good progress in transferring legal standards and norms of the European Union into their national legislation and policy, progress is much slower when the implementation of already adopted policies is concerned. That is why this Initiative deals with the creation of promotional platforms for establishing a public dialogue, and with building of capacities for the implementation of public policies, in particular those from the area of energy efficiency.

The support and promotion of platforms for public dialogue is extremely significant for the whole community, as the promotion of sustainable energy use and generation is not only a technical issue. Achieving the goal of 20% improvement of energy efficiency by 2020 requires awareness and readiness to deal from all actors in community and state. Significant common actions in the area of energy efficiency can be achieved only by a strong political will, increasing visibility of the topic and awareness-raising of all parts of the community.

That is why the key goal of the initiative ”Public Dialogue on the Sustainable Use of Energy in South East Europe” is to establish and maintain the public dialogue between Parliament, Government, the business sector, media and civic society about the sustainable use of energy with a primary accent on energy efficiency.

Aware of the fact that for awareness-raising it is necessary to understand the specificities of measures and required technical and professional capacities, as well as the capacities of their application, the creators of the Initiative implement, in their national environment, educational activities through the organization of professional and motivational seminars, gather representatives of different target groups and promote the exchange of opinions and attitudes among them, establishing a high-quality dialogue at the same time.

By initiating and establishing such a dialogue, it is intended to create a network of participants involved in the processes of creating and decision-making, defining legal solutions and concerns about their efficient implementation by the principles of cost-effectiveness and sustainability, in order to enable a decisive road tracking towards a more secure energy future of all countries of South East Europe.

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: Capacity building of non-governmental organisations; Improving the dialogue between NGOs and decision makers; 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.

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.

Source: Public Dialogue on the Sustainable Use of Energy in South East Europe

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