A consortium led by the European Policy Centre (CEP) was awarded with the institutional grant within the CSOnnect programme for support to the civil society pertaining to environmental protection. During the period 26 October 2016 – 26 October 2017, together with partner organizations (Ecological Centre Habitat, Ecological Movement of Odzaci, Local Ecological Movement from Smederevo and Business and Economy Center) CEP will use the CSOnnect institutional grant in order to contribute to the improvement of the civil society participation in the decision making processes which pertain to the accession negotiations with regard to Negotiating Chapter 27 as well as following the EU accession.
Within this grant, knowledge and ability of civil society to advocate for the best solutions have been improved on the basis of a fundamental research on environmental financing at the local level and by improving public participation. The survey was conducted on the basis of data obtained from state and provincial authorities and 145 local self-governments. Results of the research and recommendations for improvement of the situation are given in the Study Local Finances and the Environment: What are the key issues and possible solutions (in Serbian), and three Policy Briefs: Financing of the Environmental Protection at the Local Level: Relationship between Revenues and Expenditures, Financing of the Environmental Protection at the Local Level: Planning Budget Funds and Local Finances and the Environment: What are the key issues and possible solutions? written by the Researcher of Environmental Center Stanište Dejan Maksimović and CEP Researcher Stefan Šipka.
The knowledge and skills of civil society representatives on communication methods, the EU accession process, policymaking and environmental protection have been improved by 12 training sessions for representatives of environmental CSOs, and awareness of the importance of the environment was lifted for the general public through media appearances, short animation and 17 lectures for elementary and secondary school students.
The dialogue between representatives of civil society, the public and the civil sector is strengthened through eight public events for representatives of the public, civil and private sectors on the key issues related to environmental protection. The Final conference organised under this grant was attended by the highest representatives of state institutions and the EU representatives in Serbia, with a total of about 60 participants.
Institutional grant is financed with the funds provided via the CSOnnect Institutional Grant which is implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre (REC). Programme is financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).