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Working Groups Working Group 3 - Cross Border Cooperation and Multilateral Environmental AgreementWG 3 EIA/SEA

All activities under WG3 EIA/SEA Sub-Group are focused on cross-border cooperation. Most of RENA countries share common water and nature resources. Implementation of various infrastructure projects is and will go beyond one country, therefore successful cooperation on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) cross-border issues became a necessity. RENA and activities under this Sub-Group can be used as a platform for enhancing such a cooperation, as well as improvement EIA and SEA at national level.

EIA and SEA are environmental management tools that are extensively used all over the world. RENA countries are in the process of aligning their national EIA/SEA systems in accordance with the EC requirements. RENA countries have fairly recently adopted new environmental framework laws, or the environmental legislation is still under development. Following this, the detailed regulations concerning EIA/SEA is being reviewed, and national practice is still young.

In 2003, under the REReP 1.4 project, EIA Training Resource Manual for South Eastern Europe was elaborated. Its main aim was capacity building in South Eastern Europe. Later, in 2007-2008, study on a comparative analysis of implementation of EIA Directives and SEA Directive in SEE countries, including pilot studies on SEA regulations and procedures in REReP countries/territories was carried out. Moreover, Resource Manual to Support Application of the Protocol on SEA under UNECE was developed as well. SEA Protocol is used in many SEE countries as a benchmark document. Almost all Balkan countries were invited to preparation of the Resource Manual in 2005 – 2006. Also training workshops with speakers from EU member States that have established effective arrangements for the implementation of the EIA Directive (e.g. Czech Republic, Hungary, etc.) and speakers from EU member States that have established effective arrangements for the implementation of the SEA Directive (e.g. UK, NL etc.) were held. RENA will continue the capacity building process on EIA/SEA, as foreseen in the ToR and based on investigations during the inception phase.