Representatives of the 22 environmental civil society organizations from Serbia visited Brussels from 28th of May to 1st of June 2018. This study tour was organized within the Environmental Civil Society Support Programme for Serbia- CSOnnect, implemented by REC office in Serbia and supported by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency- Sida.
During this visit, Serbian CSOs had the opportunity to visit the most relevant Brussels institutions and international organizations dealing with different aspects of environmental protection and/or Serbian EU integration process.
The introductory lesson on Effective communication between civil society and EU institutions was held by Mr. Zdravko Ilic, Head of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia Representative Office in Brussels.
The meetings were organized with European Commission, Directorates General for Environment and Climate Action, where participants had the opportunity to hear about the latest developments related to different environmental policies, but also to discuss Serbian EU integration process and future negotiations regarding EU Chapter 27 with EC officers working on Serbian EU integrations.
Our CSOs also had the opportunity to visit the Parliament of the city of Brussels and to talk with Ms. Evelyne Huytebroeck, Parliamentarian, Local councilor for Forest and former Minister for environmental protection. Ms. Huytebroeck presented her work on dealing with different environmental issues. The group also visited Brussels Environment, institution responsible for the environment and energy administration for the Brussels Capital Region. Ms. Barbara Dewulf, Deputy Director General, presented their work and the passive building where this institution is based, and which is opened for the public, with the goal to promote sustainable way of living to the citizens.
The group of Serbian CSOs also visited Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union, and talked to Ms. Ana Hrustanovic, ambassador, and Ms. Snežana Knežević, Counsellor responsible for environment and agriculture, and who is in charge of exchanging information between EU Commission and Serbian government regarding the EU Chapter 27.
Finally, participants also had the opportunity to visit several biggest and the most influential international organizations based in Brussels, and to discuss different environmental topics with them: Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Health & Environment Alliance – HEAL, Green Peace, Birdlife International, European Environmental Bureau (EEB), The Nature Conservancy and Client Earth. Serbian organizations were able to hear about their work, but also to share their experiences and to present their work, as well as to initiate future cooperation.