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Environmental Local Authorities InterBalkan Network - ELAIN

About ELAIN

The current context is characterized by the presence of the economic crisis and the decline of environmental interest. Therefore the role of local government authorities should be emphasizing in restoring and promoting the relation between the citizens and the environment.

On the other hand it is generally recognized that the development potential of a region is enhanced through partnerships that are being promoted. Therefore local government authorities are investing in the establishment of international cooperation arcs in order to highlight and overcome common development problems.

The Environmental Local Authorities Interbalkan Network (ELAIN) was built according to the abovementioned reasoning. The project is funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme “Europe for Citizens”.

ELAIN’s partners invested in participatory planning and the inclusion of local stakeholders in the procedure of shaping the project’s direction and its final outcomes. In this context the following strategic directions were adopted: 

(a) Organizing Local Activities (Local Working Group Meetings) and ensuring public access to environmental information and public participation in the decision - making procedure.

(b) Developing and communicating tools that are supporting the project and are ensuring the public access to environmental information and public participation in the decision - making procedure.

(c) Promoting the mobility and the representativity. The condition was satisfied by including representatives of the local stakeholders in the delegations that were participating in International Events.

More specifically, the program will perform the following activities:

  • 1st Local Activity (1 day)
    Local Activities are Local Working Group Meetings without the participation of international participants were organized at each City – partner's basis.
    Conducted within the period: 15.02.2014 - 15.03.2014
  • 1st International Event
    Tirana (AL)
    Date: 31.03.2014 – 02.04.2014
  • 2nd Local Activity (1 day)
    Local Activities are Local Working Group Meetings without the participation of international participants were organized at each City – partner's basis.
    Conducted within the period: 05.07.2014 - 15.10.2014
  • 2nd International Event
    Bijeljina (BIH)
    Date: 03.11.2014 – 06.11.2014
  • 3rd Local Activity (1 day)
    Local Activities are Local Working Group Meetings without the participation of international participants were organized at each City – partner's basis.
    Conducted within the period: 15.02.2015 - 27.03.2015
  • 3nd International Event
    Athens (GR)
    Date: 06.04.2015 – 08.04.2015
  • 4th Local Activity (1 day) Local Activities are Local Working Group Meetings without the participation of international participants.
    Athens (GR)
    Date: 20.04.2015

Through the cooperation and the international meetings, each partner of the project will focus on:

  • The presentation of the major environmental challenges located to the area of intervention (e.g. GHG emissions, renewable energy, urban and suburban green, waste management, water contamination, stray dog management etc) vis-à-vis the ecological agenda of the stakeholders in the field
  • The threats and opportunities structure stemming from the historical and cultural context, the national, regional and local environmental policies, the interaction context among NGOs, Local Authorities, Civil Society’s Organizations, enterprises, and the state. Local stakeholders and participants get engaged in a further dialogue on setting of realistic improvement goals
  • The establishment of deliberative mechanisms that promote know-how exchange, best practices dissemination and dialogue among citizens and participants (through e-Forum, website, blog etc)
  • The prospects of implementing a durable and cohesive environmental strategy compatible with the European integration objectives that will involve multiple agents such as the local state, the local market, NGOs, Civil Society’s Organizations, universities, Social Enterprises etc.
  • Benchmarking environmental performance of the local stakeholders concerning improvements on major goals as diminishing gas emission, renewable energy, effective waste management, reforestation initiatives, prevention of water contamination, dog stray management etc.
  • Assessment of the guidelines and recommendations that will incorporate the EU environmental framework as a crucial aspect of European integration taking into account the citizens’ opinions expressed at the e-Forum, website, blog etc.
  • Establishing of follow-up mechanisms that will lead to a viable and long lasting environmental network with the active participation of local authorities, NGOs, universities, Civil Society’s Organizations, youth organizations, enterprises, and state agencies
  • Giving citizen the opportunity to interact and participate in constructing a tighter-knit Europe, which is democratic and world-oriented, united and enriched by its cultural diversity, thus developing citizenship of the European Union.
  • Developing a sense of European identity, based on common values, history and culture
  • Fostering a sense of ownership of the European Union among its citizens
  • Enhancing tolerance and mutual understanding between European citizens, respecting and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity, while contributing to intercultural dialogue
  • Developing thematic and long-lasting cooperation between towns
  • Citizens and the EU: values, rights and opportunities for citizens
  • Raising awareness, reflection and debate on the relevance and implications of EU policies on citizens' daily lives
  • Increasing awareness, understanding and enjoyment of the values, rights and opportunities created by the EU
  • Fostering reflection on the cost of non – Europe
  • Supporting the preservation of the European memory
  • Promoting Citizens' engagement and participation in issues which constitute the European Union's political priorities (including the upcoming European parliament election)
  • Enabling citizens to further influence and participate in the development of a sustainable and inclusive economy
  • Encouraging citizens to further contribute to developing a European Area for Freedom, Security and Justice
  • Exchanging views with and presenting results to the appropriate decision makers on ongoing European policies and their impact on local situations as well as on local issues with an European dimension