Good governance in SEE at heart of Mavrovo Initiative

June 8, 2009

REC leads panel discussions at May conference in FYR Macedonia


The Ministry for Environment and Physical Planning of FYR Macedonia, under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union, organised the International Conference on Partnership and Dialogue: Preconditions for Good Governance for Implementation of the EU Environmental Acquis, which took place in National Park Mavrovo on May 27-29, 2009.

Present ministers of environment and delegation heads from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, along with various representatives from international organisations, NGOs, academia and the business sector discussed the need for fostering partnership and dialogue for implementation of the EU's environmental acquis among different stakeholders in order to share experiences concerning the EU accession process.

REC Executive Director Marta Szigeti Bonifert presided over 'Good Governance in Environmental Matters', a plenary session detailing the REC's long-standing experience in creating partnerships, including examples of the REC's key tools for applying good-governance principles in the western Balkans and Turkey, and thus contributing to both European and global processes.

The conference hosted panels on climate change and water management and their linkages to good governance. Szigeti Bonifert also moderated panel sessions for 'Good Governance in Integrated Water Management'.

The conference resulted in deepening existing regional cooperation on environmental topics and recognition of the need for further regional promotion of good governance and tools to be applied during the preparation and implementation of environmental policies and laws deriving from the process of harmonisation with the environmental acquis, and thus ensuring sustainable development of South-East European countries.

In adopting the 'Conference Statement', delegates agreed to follow-up on the Mavrovo Initiative for Regional Cooperation in Good Governance with a call for partnership among beneficiaries, donors and others interested partners within the SEE region to promote and enhance this initiative.

Delegations recognised that good governance in the field of environment may help in identifying new opportunities for more effective institutional structures for international or regional environmental cooperation, and called upon present and future EU presidencies to take on board and support this process.

Serbian and Czech delegates offered to organise the next meeting under the Mavrovo Initiative for Regional Cooperation in Good Governance in the course of 2009, while the REC offered continued support and assistance in facilitating the initiative.