The thematic working group (TWG) “Climate and Green Agenda”, as part of the Forum for Civil Society and Think Tank Organizations for 2023 (CSF) within the framework of the Berlin Process, held its first introductory meeting on June 22, 2023.

The Institute for Good Governance and Policies in the Environment and Climate Change – Skopje (IPECC) leads the TWG “Climate and Green Agenda” that will focus the consultation process on the topic of “Green Infrastructure Investments”, with additional focus on “Good Governance in Environment” and “Biodiversity and Protection of Natural Resources”.

Representatives from involved CSOs from Western Balkans countries, as well as experts and representatives of leading CSF organizations discussed upcoming activities.

Seventeen CSOs, including IPECC, are actively involved in the TWG “Climate and Green Agenda”: from Kosovo International Business College from Mitrovica and Balkan Green Foundation from Tirana; from Bosnia and Hercegovina the Eko forum Zenica, Eko akcija from Sarajevo and Centre for Development and Support form Tuzla; from Albania the Co-PLAN Institute for Habitat Development from and Environmental center for Development Education and Networking (EDEN) from Tirana; from Montenegro the Center for Climate Change, Natural Resources and Energy of University of Donja Gorica, NGO Green Home from Podgorica and FORS Montenegro from Niksic; Belgrade Open School (BOS) from BELGRADE, Serbia; and from North Macedonia the Eko-svest, Milieukontakt Macedonia and ARNO from Skopje, as well as Germanwatch e.V. from Bonn, Germany.

Denion Galimuna, Program manager Open Society Foundation for Western Balkans in his welcoming address highlighted that the CSOs involvement is testament of commitment and believe in the power of the civil society to drive positive change.

“Our main goal is to address urgent societal issues, and we believe the best to do this are those actively engaged in this challenges…As members of thematic work group your invaluable contributions will shape our collective strategy.” stressed Mr. Galimuna.

Eleftherios Petropoulos, representative of ELIAMEP, emphasized that they will provide consultative aid to all six thematic work groups, by supporting the leading organizations in fine tuning the finalized recommendations and messages to policy decision makers.

Jadranka Ivanova, president of IPECC and expert for approximation and legislation in environment and climate, laid out the plan of the activities, envisioned to be finalised with recommendations in climate and green agenda that will be presented to the leaders of the Western Balkans at the summit in Tirana this autumn.

Jadranka Ivanova

“The main topic for this TWG is Green Infrastructure Investments, however we wanted to dive in more and to more precise in some of the recommendations. So additionally we’ve selected the sub-topics “Good Governance in Environment” and “Biodiversity and Protection of Natural Resources”. All topics are strongly relevant to accelerate the path towards greener economies and to implement green agenda, and most important to foster EU integration of the Western Balkans countries.” stressed Ms. Ivanova.

All participants agreed that challenges are very significant in all of the WB countries, but working together we can overcome them and achieve sustainable future.

The Open Society Foundations – Western Balkans (OSFWB), mandated by the Government of Albania as the current holder of the Presidency of the Berlin Process, and in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and with the Cooperation and Development Institute (CDI), is organizing this year’s Civil Society & Think Tank Forum (CSF). The CSF, organized as part of the Berlin Process Summit to be held in October 2023 in Tirana, aims to foster regional cooperation, strengthen EU-related reforms and support the accession process of the Western Balkan countries.