Brussels, 22 June 2021
3rd Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change
During the EaP Ministerial Meeting on environment and climate change, Ruslan Havryliuk, EaP CSF representative and Working Group 3 EaP coordinator, called for public administration reform in the environmental protection sector and for more involvement of civil society in policy formulation, implementation and monitoring.
In his address, Ruslan Havryliuk outlined that EaP roadmap obligations and EU assistance have provided solid support to the advancement of environmental protection and energy policy reform in EaP countries. In addition, the European Green Deal and EaP policy beyond 2020 offer new opportunities for EaP countries to bring about reforms in the environmental field.
However, many critical problems remain, such as weak environmental governance, delays in the adoption of legislation, faulty implementation, degradation of ecosystems, weak enforcement, lack of transparency and consultation with stakeholders. To ensure that the 2021-2025 EaP framework is effective, it is essential to address two important stumbling blocks that are currently undermining the ambitious goals set by the European Green Deal and enshrined in the draft Presidency Conclusions.
First, the persistently weak environmental governance and institutions. EaP Environmental institutions still lack adequate capacity to ensure proper environmental protection and fight climate change.
To solve these problems, EaP countries need closer cooperation with the EU and public administration reform in the environmental protection sector. Notably, the merging of environmental ministries with other ministries should be undone. Also, future monitoring mechanisms should be qualitative and focus on the implementation, not only on the adoption, of environmental laws.
Second, good environmental governance requires openness, participation, and accountability. At present, civil society is still too often excluded from effective participation in policy making.
EaP CSF representative Ruslan Havryliuk presented several recommendations on how to make the 2021-2025 EaP framework and the European Green Deal a success in the EaP.
First, responsible ministries should develop dialogues with civil society organisations. Second, state institutions should actively cooperate with civil society and capitalise on their ability to raise environmental awareness within EaP societies. Third, a portion of the funding for the period 2021-2027 should be allocated for projects aimed at promoting environmental awareness as well as public campaigns calling for the implementation of the relevant environmental legislation. Lastly, civil society should be given more opportunities to participate in projects held under EU4Environment, EU4Climate and EU4Energy.