On Thursday, February 17th, 2016, at 11:00 at the premises of the EU Info Center in Skopje, a new project under the IPA 2 Multi-Country Civil Society Facility & Media Programme 2014-2015 was officially launched. The project named “Stronger CSOs for a participatory transposition and implementation of the EU 2020 climate and energy package” is an eighteen-month initiative and will be implemented in the period between January 18th, 2016 and July 18th, 2017 by MILIEUKONTAKT Macedonia in partnership with the Training institute KOCKA and the Environmental Citizens Association Front 21/42.

Thе project aims at improving the environmental governance by creating the conditions for CSOs to participate effectively in the decision-making processes and, at the same time, influence the key reforms for further transposition and implementation of the EU 2020 climate and energy package. The implementation of this project is expected to raise the low level of CSOs’ participation noted in the 2014 Progress Report for the country. Environmental CSOs generally lack knowledge of the EU 2020 climate and energy package, as a new piece of the EU legislation, therefore it is a timely moment for the CSO movement to promote a participatory approach to this process.

Total project’s budget is € 255.090 and the EC contribution is € 232.000 or MKD 14.312.080.

“The development of the CSO sector, to a great extent thanks to the EU funding programs, is evident in the recent years. Through this project, we look forward to strengthen the capacities of domestic CSOs related the EU 2020 climate and energy package and to establish operational mechanisms to communicate and advocate for the environmental and socio-economic benefits. We look forward to see strong and sustainable partnership among the CSOs and relevant national and local authorities while implementing joint activities. This is really important step forward in addressing climate change and democratic advancement at all levels” said the EU Delegation representative, Mr. Jaromír Levíćek, at the opening of the event. Ms. Ivana Petkanovska, Project leader, also made brief remarks.

Civil society organizations and media attended the project’s kick-off event, were informed of the project details and had an opportunity to discuss its objectives and how these objectives will be achieved.