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Regional Cooperation Magazine

Credits: Uncorking rural heritage

N. 2

JUNE 2021

Regional Cooperation Magazine

Contents Director’s Editorial ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..…..… 2 Youth Can Be A Driving Force In Fight Against Corruption ………………………………………………………………………………………………..….. 4 Cultural and natural heritage are a shared legacy of humanity … plenty of opportunities but also some dilemma to sort out …………..…………………… 6 Projects …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………… 8 Opening conference – Implementing Shared Anti-Corruption аnd Good Governance Solutions in Southeast Europe: Innovative Practices and Public– Private Partnership …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..….. 9 The Fund Director Gian Luca Bombarda had the pleasure to participate at the Opening conference: "Implementing Shared Anti-Corruption аnd Good Governance Solutions in Southeast Europe”.…………………………….…………………………..……………………….…………………………. 10 "International Experiences and Advanced Practices of the Selection, Evaluation and Promotion of Judges” - Interview to Dr. Salvija Mulevičienė, 
 Head of the Justice Research Laboratory at the Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania) …………………………………………………………………… 13 “Inclusion through sports for children with developmental disabilities” promotes equal opportunities through sports activities ……………………………. 15 Eutrophication and Hypoxia …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17 The need for a comprehensive European civil society strategy ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 19 What happens in the Reclaim Our Civil Space! project? ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 22 The importance of bees .……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23 Reducing the Consumption and Disposal of Single-use Plastics in the Tourism Industry in Cyprus, Greece and Malta …………………………………….. 24 International scientific cooperation can boost Knowledge society ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 26 Cider Cluster - building a new industry by sharing knowledge …………………………..…………………………………………………………………… 28 State of the Art Analysis: The power of good information to prevent radicalisation through awareness, knowledge and skills building ……………………. 30 Let’s keep our City clean! Children and youth share ideas for waste management in creative competitions …………………………………………………. 37 Credits …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………… 40


Regional Cooperation Magazine

Director’s Editorial Inclusion, creative competitions, innovative practices and new, potential opportunities Dear Friends, Summer has started and we reached the second issue of our Regional Cooperation Online Mag. The words here above, with which I would like to start, are the results of what my eyes saw when looking at our website: among the news related to our Projects’ activities, I also scrolled the recently published EEA and Norway Grants Status Report 2020. That report is summarising the great results achieved in 2020, and I am happy to see that some new activities can be considered the natural consequences of some already ongoing innovative processes. It is in that regard that I would like to open this second round with three interesting initiatives organised by our Projects, since I am sure they are opening the doors to others and especially they can be considered as milestones for future reflections with respect to our changing societies. I participated, while unfortunately online, to most of them and for each one I took long notes about how some topics have concrete and practical implications on our daily life. And younger generations are not only always there when we talk about consequences, they are there since they are protagonists If we think about possible solutions. We have presented, with our first issue, the specific areas of interests covered by the Regional Cooperation Fund’s Projects: Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness; Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction; Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy; Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights; Justice and Home Affairs. They are, of course, specific fields of interest and action through which the RC Projects are regrouped in terms of concrete actions and interventions; however, some concepts are universal, in the sense that the Fund itself is a unique Family, made of brothers and sisters that can talk about environment linking green economy to education, or about justice linking home affairs to good governance and human rights. With this second issue, we would like to give you a first taste of what this means in practice. As you will see while scrolling our Mag, the fields of interests to which we have dedicated the first pages are three (one can easily imagine which they are just having a look at the names of the Projects, or maybe at the colour we have put for each area to help you :) ), but they easily became a unique part and source for thoughts. You will read about disability and sport (with a second part coming soon), corruption and transparency, the latter two being two separate initiatives that I decided to link when presenting the spirit behind. Why? Because for a corruption-free society, we do need a transparent system. And a system, to be transparent, needs qualified decision makers, able to “base their decisions on the major public issues on quality information, without prejudices, conscious or unconscious biases or undue influence”, directly quoting the words you will be able to read here below. !2

Regional Cooperation Magazine And for a better future society we strongly need inclusion, even towards children and youth with developmental disabilities. They did not decide to be called “disabled”, we have a duty not to make them feel as such. Because there are, and there must be, thousands of opportunities. Sport is one, a fundamental one: physical activities do promote equal opportunities. And, last but not least, I may be repetitive: cooperation is an asset laying at the core of those efforts, which would exist for sure, but are more evident if we consider the greater strength they benefit from by combining potentials and abilities. Therefore, the Regional Cooperation Mag wants to be the proof of this, of how combined efforts take to greater results. The three initiatives here presented are just an example, an important example. As the Regional Cooperation Fund itself wants, since the aim is to foster people, societies, economies while encouraging collaboration across sectors and countries. In the next pages, you will find some interesting proofs. Disseminating them is one of the best ways we have to demonstrate that innovative solutions to common challenges are there. Enjoy our Mag and, as always, we are looking forward for you to being part of us. Gian Luca Bombarda The Fund Director


Regional Cooperation Magazine

Youth Can Be A Driving Force In Fight Against Corruption “The biggest disease is corruption. The vaccine is transparency.” Bono Young people continue to name corruption as the biggest challenge they face, according to a survey carried out through the Accountability Lab in conjunction with the World Economic Forum. The growing incidences of corruption across a wide spectrum of sectors, on a global scale, has become endemic. This is an unsettled world, where too many powers only speak the language of confrontation and unilateralism. But it is also a world where millions of people are taking to the streets – to protest against corruption and to demand democratic change. A new generation of young leaders has put anticorruption, transparency and accountability firmly at the centre of their understanding and definition of global leadership across all sectors – politics, business, banking and finance, media, sport, entertainment and civil society. Transparency International (a global movement working in over 100 countries to end the injustice of corruption) in their 2020 Strategy aims to harness the growing demand by citizens worldwide for more direct forms of accountability. They believe that the EU should

embrace a transformative transparency agenda in its policies and legislation, making information relevant to the prevention and detection of corruption available to the wider public. However, information alone is not transparency. Civil society needs the capacity and skills to convert raw data into a tool for accountability. Technology is only part of the answer, but holds out the prospect of the anti-corruption movement acting with unprecedented reach and scale. With this in mind, the overarching focus of their advocacy for the next four years will be to persuade EU policy makers to provide the legislation, data, mechanisms and space necessary for citizens to come together to fight corruption. Across the EU’s 27 member states, nearly twothirds (62%) of the 40,000 respondents in a survey conducted by Transparency International said corruption in their government was a major problem and three-quarters (76%) said it had been stagnating or getting worse.

Anti-corruption is a policy field in the European Union with its origins in the 1990s when the EU started to recognise corruption as a serious crime with a cross-border dimension. The 2004 big bang enlargement of the EU, with the incorporation of transitional new Member States, was accompanied by a number of specific measures, instruments and monitoring mechanisms to combat corruption at the supranational level, finally leading to the introduction of the EU-wide Anti-Corruption Report in 2014. The policy operates at multiple levels and involves not only the European institutions and national governments, but also the role of civil society actors in the process of developing anti-corruption policy. Despite a long history of promoting good governance, rule of law and anti-corruption reforms, the EU now faces a number of challenges. The scale of the problem remains formidable, costing the EU between €120 billion and 1 trillion euros annually. !4

Regional Cooperation Magazine Almost a third of residents in the EU relied on personal connections to access healthcare during the Covid crisis, and around one in five in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Lithuania paid a bribe for such services, a report on corruption has found. The authors of the NGO’s report, The Global Corruption Barometer presented their findings to the European Union, who found them particularly worrying, given that member states are preparing to allocate billions of euros for post-pandemic recovery. Bearing in mind these challenges, the EU needs to rethink its role in the fight against corruption. The value of the EU in an anti-corruption context will stem from its ability to provide civil society with the support and tools needed to hold those in power to account. In doing so, it can build on the recent body of transparency legislation it has put in place in areas such as corporate disclosure, public procurement and anti-money laundering. Corruption remains arguably the largest impediment to global economic and political progress. But a new generation of youth are discovering collective and creative ways to fight the nefarious flow and react to Kurt Cobain’s assertion: “The Duty of Youth is to Fight Corruption.”

Tom Mc Grath


Regional Cooperation Magazine

Cultural and natural heritage are a shared legacy of humanity … plenty of opportunities but also some dilemma to sort out What is our role? Passive audience or active citizenship? On November 16, 2022 we will mark the 50th Anniversary of the adoption of the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention (the Convention), your convention since each and every human being is a direct stakeholder. The Convention is a powerful instrument linking for the first time the conservation of nature and the protection of cultural property under the same legal umbrella. Joined so far by 194 States Parties (Oct 2020) it is probably the most successful among the six UNESCO cultural conventions. The Convention provides for the creation of a list of cultural and/or natural heritage sites of Outstanding Universal Value, which can be synthetically defined as 'places that are important and belong to humanity as a whole, no matter their geographic location. Places that are so unique to be irreplaceable'. To-date 1121 heritage sites are counted in the World Heritage List. In the last couple of decades, cultural and natural heritage protection and promotion have been strongly addressed in the EU policy

agendas both domestic and external. Interesting advances were registered as a result in the several industries connected to the sector while a vast international, multidisciplinary heritage community grew through cooperation, research and innovation initiatives. Something unthinkable just 30 years ago is now part of our daily life. The Green Deal launched by the Presidency of the European Commission is the agenda on which the European politics, economy, culture and society will revolve at least until 2050. So, I was not surprised when on June 21 I have been informed that the 'European Council has approved the conclusions recognising the key role of cultural heritage in promoting peace, democracy and sustainable development'. However, as new and more stringent challenges are awaiting for us to commit, when I read of the conclusions, I could not avoid but question myself to what extent our con-citizens and tax payers were actually aware of the current state of the art in the cultural heritage management.

Tourism, leisure, business, conferences, nature, education, sport, research, family visits and more, there are plenty of reasons for people to travel in a globalised world. In its 2013 report, the UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organisation) stated that, in 2012 the magic number of 1 Billion travellers was de-passed for the first time in history, confirming the trend of an average 3% increase yearly globally, while in some countries up to 8% was reached. On a different fold, in several realities, the regulatory policies (e.g. master plans and land use plans) are bent or adapted to enable the speculations of few investors that, expecting to gain greater profits, manipulate corrupt authorities to be free as they jeopardise heritage sites with a blind, ruthless use of the territory. When authorities are not corruptible, investors use any other means to achieve their goals ... to the detriment of heritage and the local inhabitants.


Regional Cooperation Magazine During the last few decades we assisted to a gradual increase of pressure on Heritage sites not only produced by increased masses of visitors in movement or unscrupulous investors! As I write this article, catastrophic events of various nature and magnitude are taking place worldwide seriously threatening people, entire regions including cultural or natural heritage. In fact, global warming and climate changes strongly contribute to cause natural and manmade events of unprecedented dimensions worldwide, reducing entire populations to starvation, forcing them to migrate, while local or regional conflicts of different intensity spark as a result with a variety of negative political repercussions. Apart from being a key factor of social and cultural identity, in many realities cultural and natural heritage often represent the sole sources of income for local communities. So, the unavoidable collapse of international travels caused by the current COVID-19 pandemics had a dramatic impact on the associated economic sectors leaving plenty of households below poverty line and worse. It does not take a genius to imagine the reasons why, alike for any other industry, cultural and natural heritage need protection from all sorts of threat. As said,during the last decade over a billion of international travellers moved around every

year and most likely, many of them visited at least a cultural or natural heritage site. It is not extravagant to imagine that now they realise the importance to care for those precious jewels.

that of the active citizens ... but what about you? In your opinion what should it be your role? Our cultural heritage expert, Claudio Cimino

Definitely there is a need for a shift to improve the capacity to secure a sustainable and more effective cultural and natural heritage protection and promotion. Often, a stronger contribution of the Civil Society is invoked and even recommended within the UNESCO conventions, yet, too often the civil society is relegated to play the role of Cinderella rather than that of recognised professional (or at least professionalised) civil society organisation. This is one of the many crucial issues to clarify. That is why, Our World Heritage Foundation www.ourworldheritage.org was recently founded as a global movement of cultural heritage stakeholders (Organisations, Experts and Individual citizens) with an open and inclusive approach. You do not need to be an heritage specialist to join and participate, directly or indirectly, in preparing proposals to be presented in 2022 for an improved heritage management worldwide during the coming 50 years. As said, cultural and natural heritage are a shared legacy of humanity … yet, is this an opportunity or rather a dilemma? What is our role in their protection? Passive audience or active citizenship? WATCH members' choice is !7

Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights and Freedoms Justice and Home Affairs Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Povery Reduction !8

Regional Cooperation Magazine

Opening conference – Implementing Shared AntiCorruption аnd Good Governance Solutions in Southeast Europe: Innovative Practices and Public– Private Partnership Anti-corruption efforts in Southeast Europe (SEE) have come a long way since the turn of the century. Yet, the past five years have shown stagnation and even backsliding, thus confirming that anti-corruption should not be conceived as a final destination, but rather as a consistent process of democratic renewal, checks and balances. In order to revitalise the anti-corruption drive of the region CSD, supported by twelve partners from ten SEE countries, launched the R2G4P initiative (regional good governance public–private partnership platform) on 26 May 2021. The initiative will rely on the cooperation between CSOs and government bodies to deliver shared anticorruption solutions, focusing on preventing public procurement mismanagement in light of the planned increase in EU infrastructure support until 2025. It will also aim at enhancing the accountability of state institutions and strengthening the civil society across the region.

the anti-corruption debate, increasing the demand for reforms. Moreover, the oversight should cover all levels and areas of governance and ideally be based on practical tools and measurement instruments. Traicho Traikov, Mayor of Sredets District in Sofia and Former Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, and Guilio Venneri, Head of the Centre of Thematic Expertise at DG NEAR raised the concern that the current geostrategic situation could further enable corruption and state capture. Thus, the European Union should continue to promote the balance of power at national level and ensure multipartyism. Project 0058 - Implementing shared anti-corruption and good governance solutions in Southeast Europe: innovative practices and public-private partnerships

The urgent need of a behavioural change and an active civil society was highlighted in the keynote speech of Prof. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Chair of the European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State Building Research at the HERTIE School of Governance. Prof. Pippidi noted that introduction of new laws would not be sufficient to safeguard democracy in countries where the regulatory and enforcement efficiency remains low. According to her, judicial independence and freedom of the press stand among the key rule of law preconditions. Conference participants further underlined that governments and CSOs should strive to engage all citizens in !9

Regional Cooperation Magazine

The Fund Director Gian Luca Bombarda had the pleasure to participate at the Opening conference: "Implementing Shared Anti-Corruption аnd Good Governance Solutions in Southeast Europe” Here below some important questions arose, in the form of an interview to the Fund Director and Ruslan Stefanov, Program Director (Center for the Study of Democracy) Mr. Bombarda, How much is important to participate at this kind of initiatives? «When I received the invitation, I went straight to the title to start reflecting about what I could have said, and I suddenly thought that “Anticorruption and Youth – a Forward Look” is a challenging one. Why? Because usually youth and corruption are two separated fields of interests, actions and reflections. Or better, corruption is, unfortunately, a topic which is not touching sufficiently youngest generations’ interests». Mr. Bombarda, can you explain why? «These last years we have seen millions of initiatives raised by youth for our environment, we saw them on the streets with Greta to fight climate change, we saw on the news, everywhere around Europe, the so called “Fridays for Future”, but we don’t have any weekday tackling and fighting corruptions, we never heard about “Tuesdays against corruption”! I believe that, in that specific field of interest, there are a lot of “unaware victims”, if we can call them like that, as it happens in other sectors –I believe that “corruption” is not related only to money or to the political word: it concerns every aspect of our daily life and thus feeds itself more and more. Unfortunately, youth is not always aware, or at least the majority of new generations is not».

Mr. Stefanov, Considering the title of the intervention of the Fund Director to the event, and in relation with the Project, “Anticorruption and Youth – a Forward Look”: Why do our societies need a “forward look” in your opinion? «Anti-corruption is a long-term developmental problem, which requires coordinated and sustained action over many decades. The whole history and study of anti-corruption has taught us that successful nations look at it as a journey, not a destination. We need to always remain conscious of the threat of corrosion of our democratic institutions and each generation needs to redefine its fight for democracy. Power corrupts, so we need to always look forward and expect where the next concentration of power might jeopardise democratic fundamentals». Mr. Stefanov, Corruption is, unfortunately, a topic which is not touching sufficiently youngest generations’ interests: what can be done in your opinion to increase their knowledge? «In fact, the young are one of the vulnerable groups to the corrosive impact of corruption. Just think about the massive toll on young people that corruption has left in many systemically corrupt countries around the globe and in a historical perspective: from hunger in Africa, to participation in military conflicts in Latin America, to poverty in Asia and unemployment in Europe. But as corruption is difficult to prove (or rather in many cases there is unwillingness by the corrupt to investigate their own business of corruption) the young typically brush aside corruption problems, thinking these could be dealt with at a later stage, while they prefer to focus on their start in life. !10

Regional Cooperation Magazine This is why it is important that political parties, civil society, schools, and society are able to educate and draw in the young to understanding and tackling corruption. They need to be sensitised that corruption can appear in any society and in any power structure, and hence it requires constant vigilance and the creation of checks and balances. And in the end of the day, that it is the personal responsibility of everyone to stand up for their rights, which corruption often denies». Mr. Stefanov, What are the Project “Implementing Shared AntiCorruption аnd Good Governance Solutions in Southeast Europe” ideas and action to involve also youth? «Our initial thinking has been to focus mostly on outreach through social media, where (we thought) the young are most likely to be active. We have included in our activities ideas about professional outreach, which would target the young in South East Europe in particular with vivid visuals and smart insights about the impact of corruption on our societies’ well-being. But maybe we need to think how to create more horizontal linkages to the youth strand of the regional cooperation programme. This holds a lot of potential for synergies as we are mostly focused on publicprivate interaction and advocacy». Mr. Bombarda, in the framework of the Fund for Regional Cooperation, how valuable is this Project? «A Project that deals with this specific issue is more than welcomed: it is needed more than ever that youth is involved into those fields in order that they can be aware, because, only involving them directly – once they are conscious – we can achieve results and shared solutions. That is why I am proud to be here with you hosted by the Project R2G4P (Regional Good Governance Public-Private Partnership Platform (R2G4P, fantastic acronym!), grant from Fund for Regional Cooperation. The aim of the project is self-explanatory, since the main goal is to implement shared anticorruption and good governance solutions in Southeast Europe through innovative practices and public-private partnerships. Meanwhile I have to state that I love much more the nick name of the project provided in the invitation to participate to this conference: SEE for South East Europe, the

project main area of intervention, but also SEE which the definition is to look at or recognize with the eyes!». Mr. Bombarda, Are there “unaware victims” of corruption among youth? Which is the main influenced sector? «I think the bulk of the victims of corruption are “unaware victims” and that is one of the core problems of tackling corruption. Corruption is a complex crime that is difficult to investigate. It also typically involves two mutually interested in the crime sides, each of which is not interested to disclose the corrupt transaction. Corruption is also a very sensitive issue politically, because in the short run you can win yourself a lot of powerful enemies by going against their corrupt dealings, you can antagonise your own corrupt political buddies, etc. All these and other factors make it a stealth killer. Think about the many collapsed buildings because of substandard construction globally. These are often victims of corruption. Think about the many high-risk people that died without receiving a vaccine for Covid, simply because someone in power was able to jump the cue. Think about the thousands of deaths annually in South East Europe because of air pollution coming from the use of coal, as corrupt deals have continued to prop dirty energy generation. And this is only when we consider individual corruption transactions, without going into the much more complex and pernicious state capture phenomenon. Think of the hundreds of billions of economic and job opportunities that are lost annually to corruption and that result in unemployment, poverty and misery. People need to organise politically and stand up to corrupt regimes so that they stand up for the rights of such “unaware victims”». Mr. Stefanov , «“Youth and corruption” is probably the most important long-term or resilience building topic. I also believe, it is important that the EU follows US’ drive under the current administration on anticorruption and democracy and needs to develop much more specific instruments to tackle more assertively corruption and rule of law deficits». You wrote us those words: what can we learn from US? «By the virtue of its open society and economy, the US has always served as a beacon to democratic aspirations globally and as a leader and example of anti-corruption. !11

Regional Cooperation Magazine A lot of autocratic regimes have tried time and again to portray the continuous uncovering of corruption in the US as an indication of inherent corruption of market democracy. This is deeply misplaced. The US has been leading in anti-corruption initiatives. For example, it was the first country to define and go after foreign corrupt practices of its companies. The US was the first to introduce corruption as a sanctionable offence for autocratic regimes globally together with human rights abuses under the Global Magnitsky Act. And from this year, the US is the first country to introduce corruption as a strategic threat to the country’s national security. I think the OECD countries and the EU in particular need to step up their efforts in all these directions. Think about the fallout of the 2008 Eurozone crisis and the recent laundromat cases. There have been so many corruption allegations uncovered that remain without a strong follow up: while there have been many policy initiatives at the EU level (e.g. the EU AntiCorruption Report, the Rule of Law Mechanism, European Democracy Action Plan) their actual implementation by member states on the ground remains questionable at best; and some were discontinued in their infancy». Mr. Stefanov , Is there space for a real transnational cooperation? What should be the goal behind a real coordination, even among countries? «The US and the EU economies are deeply integrated. Hence, corruption vulnerabilities in one are easily transmitted across the Atlantic. This is even more so within the European Union and the European Economic Area. Hence, we need more coordination and more EU institutions, like for example a common Anti-Money Laundering Agency or common monitoring tools for corruption and state capture vulnerability, or a common US-style Global Magnitsky Act. We do hope that with our cooperation projects we will be able to provide examples and ideas about future joint action. But for these to be successful there is a need for a much wider political action on the highest level in Europe and the US». Mr. Bombarda, to which extent societies has the duty to involve youth? «When it comes to fighting corruptions, many young people are already making a big difference into their communities and countries but most of them, as I was saying before, are just starting out and therefore they need a

precise guidance, especially on how to turn plans into real actions. Remembering that the best way to uncover weaknesses is through transparency and available, fair information». Mr. Bombarda, we are living a crisis: how can institutions and societies improve transparency and fair information? «We are, most probably, in the exact moment to start this process since times of crisis usually create new opportunities to strengthen societies. We can create attempts towards influencing policies and decision-making processes and we can do this “exploiting” (in a positive way) youth. Empowering young people to be active citizens with clear rights and obligations (not only rights!); young people are change actors, are our future. Future will be theirs to be engaged while empowering them in being active citizens is the job I am honoured and fortunate to be able, at least to try to do!».

Ruslan Stefanov Program Director Center for the Study of Democracy

Gian Luca Bombarda The Fund Director

Project 0058 - Implementing shared anti-corruption and good governance solutions in Southeast Europe: innovative practices and public-private partnerships !12

Regional Cooperation Magazine

"International Experiences and Advanced Practices of the Selection, Evaluation and Promotion of Judges” - Interview to Dr. Salvija Mulevičienė, Head of the Justice Research Laboratory at the Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania) On the 3-4th June in 2021 an exceptional event took place in Lithuania: the first international conference “International Experiences and Advanced Practices of the Selection, Evaluation and Promotion of Judges” was organized in the framework of the Project “Portrait of a Judge - a multidimensional model of competencies to be measured during the procedures of selection, evaluation and promotion of judges". The event was held in a high quality hybrid format: appr. 50 “live” guests joined the conference premises and technician team streamlined the event both ways for about 250 participants from Lithuania, Czech Republic, Norway, Ukraine, Poland, Albania, Luxembourg and other countries who joined the presentations and discussions online. We asked the Project Manager dr. Salvija Mulevičienė, Head of the Justice Research Laboratory at the Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania), to share her thoughts on how this project relates to strengthening the Rule of Law in Europe and what kind of results the experts already discussed at the conference. Could you in few words explain the idea of the project “Portrait of a Judge”? Salvija Muleviciene. We live in the age of transparency. Our societies require from decision makers to base their decisions on the major public issues on quality information, without prejudices, conscious or unconscious biases or undue influence. One of such sensitive and highly relevant issue is: who and most importantly, how, became judges and presidents of courts.

The research shows that currently many European countries share the opinion that there is lack of transparency in procedures aimed to ensure that only those who due to their personal qualities and professional competences are able to achieve judicial excellence became judges and get promoted to the highest judicial offices. Also the glass ceiling is still a reality and the percentage of women clearly decreases as one moves up through the judicial hierarchy. Our project addresses this common European challenge in the justice area directly and aims to create an innovative, transparent, scientifically based, unbiased model of competencies and methods which can be effectively applied by different countries to the selection, appointment, and evaluation procedures of judges. The first international conference focused on the comparative views and discussing first results. Was it met with interest by the members of the judiciary? Salvija Muleviciene. The exclusivity of this project is the close cooperation between academia and judiciary. I would like to stress that when opening the conference Mr. Gian-Luca Bombarda, Fund Director of the Fund Operator for the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation pointed out that the Fund’s bar for the results is set very high. Same high expectations are raising our partners from the judiciary. I personally find this very motivating. The project is lead by the scientists but the judiciary shows their clear interest to have the transparent and unbiased system of the selection, evaluation and promotion of judges. It came therefore as no surprise that the high level representatives of courts systems !13

Regional Cooperation Magazine in various countries willingly participated at the conference with the welcome words, presentations and discussions. For everyone interested to hear what does it take to create and participate at the demanding procedures of becoming a judge I suggest to listen to the interesting insights of Justice Sigita Rudenaite, Chairperson of Council of Judges of Lithuania, Ms Naureda Llagami, Chairperson of the High Judicial Council of Albania or dr. Luboš Doerfl, President of the High Court of Prague. Great that you mentioned, the conference was streamlined online in English for 2 days and can still be viewed by interested society. What parts of it would you suggest to watch for a non-lawyer? Salvija Muleviciene. When we are talking about transparency and that decisions on who should became a judge or a court president need to based on the quality information the difficulty is that we are not measuring objects. Our focus is on the Human Being. So how do we measure the personal qualities of humans? How do we measure the integrity of a judges personality? What kind of information do we need to collect in order to make transparent decisions based on merits and not on political agenda or personal subjective and maybe biased opinions? These were the hard questions asked during the conference. And I would suggest for anyone to check the presentation of Prof. dr. Eugenijus Laurinaitis, psychiatrist, professor of Mykolas Romeris University, former chairperson of the Commission of the Candidates to Judicial Office of Lithuania discussing if it is possible to develop a universal methodology that would accurately and objectively assess the psychological readiness of individuals for the work of a judge. And I must say, I moderated the discussion “How to measure personality” between the prof. Laurinaitis, Mr. Georg Stawa, Judicial attaché, Ministry of Justice of Austria, former President of the CEPEJ, Mr. Sergejus Muravjovas, Head of the Transparency international Lithuanian office and Ms Kateryna Sikora, Judge of the High Anti-Corruption court of Ukraine not only with the scientific interest but also with great pleasure.

We know that many countries are initiating the national reforms in the area of selecting, evaluating and promoting of judges. Can the project “Portrait of judges” provide guidelines for them? Salvija Muleviciene. This is one of our main aims: to give input for policy development in the area of judge’s selection, evaluation and promotion in the whole Europe and beyond. We are not focusing on one specific country. We are constructing the flexible model, a kind of the common reference framework which could serve as quality standards for the systems of the judge’s selection, evaluation and promotion procedures and will strengthen the capacity of each interested country to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their judicial systems approach to the mentioned procedures and also measure the results of the judicial reforms. We believe that this science-based model will promote higher public confidence in the judiciary, counter perceptions of undue influence and corruption and in doing so strengthen the Rule of law. And the practical question: where can we find the online video records of the conference? Salvija Muleviciene. For your convenience you can find separate video files with presentations and other information about the project at our website https://judgeportrait.eu or at YouTube channel: DAY I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ey1FsmUay8 DAY II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-54LuTkPtgY Thank you very much for your insights.

Project 0662 - “The Portrait of a Judge” – a multi-dimensional model of competencies to be measured during the procedures of selection, evaluation and promotion of judges


Regional Cooperation Magazine

“Inclusion through sports for children with developmental disabilities” promotes equal opportunities through sports activities Bucharest, June 22 - After the first 6 months of implementation, Motivation Romania Foundation organized an online event to mark the official launch of the project "Inclusion through sports for children with developmental disabilities". The June 9th event brought together over 70 people from 9 partners’ countries participating in the project. Among the notable guests took the floor Gian Luca Bombarda - Director of the Fund for Regional Cooperation of the EEA and Norway Grants, David Evangelista, Regional President & Managing Director for Special Olympics Europe Eurasia and Cristian Ispas, General Manager of Motivation Romania Foundation and National Director of Special Olympics Romania. The project "Inclusion through sports for children with developmental disabilities" is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation. The project is managed by Motivation Romania Foundation in partnership with Special Olympics Romania, SO Iceland, SO Slovakia, SO Lithuania, SO Bosnia and Herzegovina, SO Montenegro, with support from SO Europe Eurasia Foundation and Poznan University of Physical Education. Over the course of three years, from January 2021 to December 2023, the project will facilitate the organization of competitions for team sports, such as football and basketball games in which will participate over 5,200 children and youth aged 6 - 12 with and without intellectual disabilities. Participants come from more than 55 cities located in Central Europe, Southern Europe and the Balkans and will participate in sports competitions with the purposes

of encouraging social inclusion and improving the cognitive, social and motor abilities of children with intellectual disabilities (ID). Gian Luca Bombarda - Director of Fund for Regional Cooperation of the EEA and Norway Grants: „Sport and arts are really helping the full wellness, not only physical, of people with disabilities. In a crisis moment like this, this project could not be approved in a better time. Your project is very much needed in this specific moment.” David Evangelista, Regional President & Managing Director for Special Olympics Europe Eurasia: „ We are not only honored, but humbled to have been chosen as one of the beneficiaries to bring forth this work of social inclusion at a time when it is needed most. I think all of us can agree that the ongoing Covid crisis, and the ensuing health and economic pandemic have had such an adverse and negative effect on people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Both in developed and developing economies, the struggle and the challenges are only growing. So, this support is not only of a generous nature, but also of an urgent one.” Cristian Ispas, General Manager of Motivation Romania Foundation and National Director of Special Olympics Romania: „The project is the result of many years of work and innovation in the field of disabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of the ways we work, as well as people's perceptions, but together with our partners we will find methods and solutions to adapt our activities. The biggest challenge remains the social inclusion of children and youth with intellectual disabilities, and bringing them in sports activities, on the sports field." !15

Regional Cooperation Magazine Overall, the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation aims to reduce economic and social disparities in Europe, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The donors have provided €3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014. For the period 2014-2021, the EEA and Norway Grants amount to €2.8 billion. "Inclusion through sports for children with developmental disabilities" benefits from of a € 1,195,000 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation. The aim of the project is to support children with intellectual disabilities and their social inclusion, by encouraging sports practices and participating in sports games among children without intellectual disabilities. About Motivation Romania Foundation 
 Motivation Romania Foundation is a non-profit organization, created in 1995 to support children and adults with disabilities. The services offered cover a wide range of needs, from assessment and adapted equipment for different types of mobility disabilities, to active recovery and training for independent living with a wheelchair instructor, advice for spaces accessibility and adapted sports. So far, Motivation has restored freedom of movement and hope in a fulfilled life for more than 25,800 people with disabilities in Romania. More information on www.motivation.ro. Project 1361 - Inclusion through sports for children with developmental disabilities


Regional Cooperation Magazine

Eutrophication and Hypoxia Since the 1950s eutrophication of water bodies has been recognized as a critical worldwide problem. Eutrophication causes degradation of the aquatic environment through changes in the composition of species, harmful algae plants or bottom anoxia (Boeykens et al., 2017). These changes leave a strong imprint on biogeochemical and ecological processes that alter ecosystem community structure (Zamparas et al., 2015). Population growth, land-use intensification, and municipal/industrial sewage discharge overload the aquatic ecosystems with nutrients (Zamparas and Zacharias, 2014), intensifying the problem. Eutrophication affects the quality of all water bodies and coastal areas (Zhou et al., 2020). Lagoons, lakes and other closed water bodies are the most affected (Dunalska et al., 2018; Liu et al., 2020; Yu et al., 2020). The Black Sea is an example of a strongly affected water body, including many eutrophic and anoxic zones. Danube River contaminants generated the dead zone and, from the 1960s to 1989, several sources contributed a huge input of nutrient to watersheds. The sources include rising fossil fuel use, NOx atmospheric input, intensive fertilizer use in farming practices, and sewage to water systems. This resulted in the loss of fisheries and marine habitats, and reduced tourism.

Recognising the urgent need to protect and restore their Water Bodies, the European Member States committed to biological and chemical monitoring of their quality through the Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60. In particular, the EU recognizes that eutrophication and anoxia cannot be treated by reducing nutrient input (N or P) from river catchments (Smith and Schindler, 2009; Zamparas et al., 2015) alone. Therefore, it introduced the new concept of “overall ecological status”, aiming at monitoring and controlling the status of suffering areas through a holistic approach that combines biological and chemical control actions. Indicating the potential of such an approach, deliberate efforts to restore water quality along the Baltic Sea coast with a combination of improved wastewater treatment, pollution reduction and regulation efforts have led to a beginning of recovery of that ecosystem since 1990. BLUE-GREENWAY project is an example of a holistic approach for restoring the eutrophic and anoxic closed water bodies. The project focuses on restoring eutrophic ecosystems while targeting land-based capacity management, for land-water integrated remediation. BLUE-GREENWAY autonomous platform combines 1) actions for eco-friendly treatment of water bodies to treat eutrophication and anoxia, 2) actions directing local groups in implementing best practices by aquatic quality status, thus preventing polluting land output. Two pilots run in Aitoliko Lagoon, Greece, and Liopetri, Cyprus. In the long run, BLUE-GREENWAY practices will build community resilience and reduce disaster risk, resulting in a sustainable, cost-effective integrated treatment. Supported areas will gain and transfer knowledge, so more regions benefit. Innovative methods will contribute to circular economy practices.

Figure 1: Global hypoxic areas (Breitburg et al., 2018).


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References Boeykens, S.P., Piol, M.N., Samudio Legal, L., Saralegui, A.B., Vázquez, C., 2017. Eutrophication decrease: Phosphate adsorption processes in presence of nitrates. J. Environ. Manage. 203, 888–895. https://doi.org/10.1016/ j.jenvman.2017.05.026

Zamparas, M., Drosos, M., Deligiannakis, Y., Zacharias, I., 2015. Eutrophication control using a novel bentonite humic-acid composite material BephosTM. J. Environ. Chem. Eng. 3, 3030–3036. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.jece.2014.12.013

Breitburg, D., Levin, L.A., Oschlies, A., Grégoire, M., Chavez, F.P., Conley, D.J., Garçon, V., Gilbert, D., Gutiérrez, D., Isensee, K., Jacinto, G.S., Limburg, K.E., Montes, I., Naqvi, S.W.A., Pitcher, G.C., Rabalais, N.N., Roman, M.R., Rose, K.A., Seibel, B.A., Telszewski, M., Yasuhara, M., Zhang, J., 2018. Declining oxygen in the global ocean and coastal waters. Science. 359. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aam7240

Zamparas, M., Zacharias, I., 2014. Restoration of eutrophic freshwater by managing internal nutrient loads. A review. Sci. Total Environ. 496, 551–562. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.07.076

Dunalska, J.A., Napiórkowska-Krzebietke, A., Ławniczak-Malińska, A., Bogacka-Kapusta, E., Wiśniewski, G., 2018. Restoration of flow-through lakes – Theory and practice. Ecohydrol. Hydrobiol. 18, 379–390. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.ecohyd.2018.06.009

Zhou, Yun, Wang, L., Zhou, Yanyan, Mao, X. zhong, 2020. Eutrophication control strategies for highly anthropogenic influenced coastal waters. Sci. Total Environ. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135760 Project 0284 - Blue-Greenway

Liu, B., Chen, S., Liu, H., Guan, Y., 2020. Changes in the ratio of benthic to planktonic diatoms to eutrophication status of Muskegon Lake through time: Implications for a valuable indicator on water quality. Ecol. Indic. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106284 Smith, V.H., Schindler, D.W., 2009. Eutrophication science: where do we go from here? Trends Ecol. Evol. 24, 201–207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree. 2008.11.009 Yu, C., Li, Z., Xu, Z., Yang, Z., 2020. Lake recovery from eutrophication: Quantitative response of trophic states to anthropogenic influences. Ecol. Eng. 143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2019.105697


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The need for a comprehensive European civil society strategy According to the Blue Book1 describing the priority sectors and programme areas of the 2014-22 period “Support from the EEA and Norway Grants to civil society reflects a firm recognition of the sector’s role as a fundamental building block of democratic governance, human rights and social cohesion across Europe. (…) Civil society organisations (CSOs) mobilise participation in civic life, and play a key role in promoting active citizen engagement in decision-making at local, national and European levels.” Yet these organisations find themselves in increasingly difficult positions in most programme countries. While Hungary and Poland are the most notorious pioneers of the trend, the phenomenon of shrinking civil space can be observed elsewhere, too, manifesting in the de-funding, vilification and harassment of independent CSOs as well as in legislation restricting the exercise of the freedom of association, assembly and expression. However, in order to flourish, civil society should not only be free of unwarranted state interference, but needs an enabling environment, in which organisations can engage in dialogue and participation with public bodies, can freely seek and secure resources and where the state actively protects and promotes these rights and freedoms. CSOs, community and citizen groups as well as social movements are also important defenders of European values, and in these times of rising populism, escalating tensions, polarization, xenophobia, increasing levels of corruption and weak democratic institutions may be or already are important allies of the European institutions. Vice versa, CSOs’ look toward the European Union both as a supportive political actor and an important funder of their activities.2 But as civil society matters are largely a Member State

competence, and thus countries are free to design their own policies and strategies in this regard, EU institutions have relatively few effective instruments to counter the negative trends in spite of their concerns. The current European Parliament and the Commission which entered office in 2019 made “a new push for European democracy” one of its key priorities. Following this, over the past year the Commission launched a number of new initiatives and strategies with a relevance to civil society – among these the annual Rule of Law Report, the second edition of which is to be published this summer, the European Democracy Action Plan3, the new Strategy to strengthen the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights4, as well as a number of sectoral strategies addressing the problems of specific vulnerably groups including LGBTQ and disabled people, the Roma, etc. A new funding program called Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV)5 with a significant allocation of 1.55 billion € for the coming 7 years should help implement these ambitions in practice. On its side, among other initiatives the Parliament has revived an old idea to introduce a European statute for associations and foundations, enabling the smoother transnational operation of CSOs. However, these multitude of initiatives while important in themselves lack a coherent and comprehensive approach. They tend to address only specific problems of civil society and often view CSOS as instrumental in achieving certain policy goals, but not as a sector with intrinsic functions and values. This is why the consortium implementing the Reclaim Our Civil Space! made its eventual goal to develop and advocate for the passing of a European civil society policy (or strategy), thereby putting the issue on the EU agenda.

1. eeagrants.org/sites/default/files/resources/FMO_170774%2BBlue%2BBook%2BFinal%2BUpdate_2017_FIN.pdf 2. Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe: Monitoring 2019 - Eva More-Hollerweger, Flavia-Elvira Bogorin, Julia Litofcenko, Michael Meyer (eds.), ERSTE Foundation, Vienna 3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:52020DC0790&from=EN 4. ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/strategy_to_strengthen_the_application_of_the_charter_of_fundamental_ rights_en.pdf 5. https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/programmes/cerv !19

Regional Cooperation Magazine This strategy should describe, in a structured manner, an (as much as possible) complete array of measures and actions that are at the disposal of the Commission or can be developed to help CSOs in the EU to flourish. With project partners we have developed a draft paper outlining the possible components of such a future strategy/policy: (1) Legal environment: for historical reasons, the statutory regulation governing the establishment and operation of CSOs is divergent across Member States. In order to improve convergence in the Union (and to avoid the emergence of restrictive regulations), the Commission together with civil society experts should develop guidelines for the best practices of association and foundation legislation, with a view to further improve the enabling environment for civil society and to decrease administrative burdens. Besides setting minimum expectations towards national legislation, the work on creating a European/supranational legal form for CSOs – an association/ foundation statute – should be completed, alongside other measures to eliminate cross-border barriers to civil society and philanthropy e.g. in terms of taxation. (2) Freedom from unwarranted state interference: European institutions should continue and improve the regular monitoring of the state of civil society in Member States (e.g. by expanding the relevant chapter in the Rule of Law Reports), complemented by an alert mechanism enabling civil society actors to promptly signal to the European Commission serious issues and/or threats on civic freedoms. At the same time, the Commission should continue to use existing legal remedies to the greatest extent possible in cases where national legislation on civil society contravenes European law or standards including infringement procedures and referring cases to the European Court of Justice. Besides, EU legislation with potentially adverse unintended effects on CSO operation, e.g. the Anti-Money Laundering directive should be reviewed and amended using a risk-based and proportionate approach. Finally, giving visibility and political acknowledgement to civil society and its functions in upholding European democracy is also important, of nothing else from the mental health point of view.

(3) Freedom of expression: CSOs in a number of Member States suffer most from biased reporting and media smear campaigns. While in this area again, European institutions have little room to manoeuvre, more attention could and should be paid to civil society issues in EU cooperation among media regulators and self-regulatory bodies, support to greater media diversity as well as enhancing media literacy set out in the European Media Plan. Citizen education is another crucial field for civil society: active citizens and civic engagement are the key basis of civil society on the one hand, and CSOs themselves are important actors of (especially non-formal and informal) citizen education on the other. As current practice is very divergent across the Union, the Commission should develop a comprehensive guidance for Member States to develop educational curricula and programs based on the relevant Council of Europe Charter6, with appropriate funding e.g. through the Erasmus+ programme. (4) Dialogue and participation: this is an area where EU institutions themselves should considerably improve their current own practice by developing an inter-institutional guidance for a system of open, inclusive, regular and structured dialogue between the Commission as a whole, individual DGs, the President and the Committees of the Parliament, the Council Presidency on the one hand and organised European civil society on the other. (The currently ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe process may serve as an exciting “laboratory” for future improvements in this field.) Besides, the delegation of civil society members to in the European Economic and Social Committee, and important liaison between EU institutions and stakeholders should be reformed in order to guarantee real representation and inclusion. Further, the Commission should encourage participation at the national and local levels, too, e.g. via stringently monitoring the implementation of the compulsory consultations during national programming processes, and stepping up in case of deficiencies, or where consultation was just a “tick-box exercise”. Another tool may be to develop guidelines enabling meaningful contribution and increased transparency at all levels using the Council of Europe Recommendations on the participation of citizens in local public life provide as a baseline.

6. https://www.coe.int/en/web/edc/charter-on-education-for-democratic-citizenship-and-human-rights-education !20

Regional Cooperation Magazine (5) Funding: in most countries across the EU, CSOs, especially those engaged in advocacy, defending rights and democracy are often underfunded, as public sources are cut back or due to excessive administrative burdens related to grants. In this respect, the CERV programme is a welcome development, however, the “devil lies in the details”, in its actual implementation and impact, which will need to be evaluated in the coming years. But CERV shouldn’t be the only source available to CSOs – their access to other programs (e.g. Creative Europe, Horizon Europe) should also be incentivised. Besides the improvements on the centrally managed programs, the Commission should also monitor the practices of the Member States in case of the funds under shared management looking at the extent to which CSOs can benefit from these funds both as lead applicants and partners. In our view, civil society’s contribution to the European project can be best utilised to its most potential through implementing these measures in their fullness. For the future, further, even more ambiguous plans for the legislation, financing and visibility of, and dialogue with CSOs may be considered. CSOs on their side are committed to play their part in this endeavour. Veronika Móra, Ökotárs – Hungarian Environmental Partnership Foundation Project 0379 - Reclaim our Civil Space!


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What happens in the Reclaim Our Civil Space! project? When we started our project we set our main objectives: mapping and training civil society actors of Middle- and Southeastern Europe, enhancing cooperation among them and advocating for a European civil society policy. Since then we held our first meetings with local organisations in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Repbulic and Poland, some recent events were already live gatherings with people finally meeting in person. These workshops are steps toward understanding the problems and opportunities of civic actors, helping participants to be active citizens on the long term through further events, training and mentoring. We also set up a space which is dedicated for civil society organisations and helps them share their know-how. Besides inspiration it also provides useful insight to the civil societies of the participating countries. The databank has been operational for a while now and as the project develops you will find more and more articles, analysis and multimedia content here. Most recently we have added a series of videos featuring topics such as how to start a civil society organisation, the structural challenges of the civic sector in Serbia or telling the story of an initiative supporting neighborhood networks in the Czech Republic. And in all of them you can watch devoted members of civil societies who are determined to improve their communities! We came together because we believe that we can learn much from each other and together we can build a thriving civil space. There is plenty of work ahead and we are looking forward to it! Project 0379 - Reclaim our Civil Space!


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The importance of bees Bees play a vital role in preservation of ecological balance and biodiversity in nature. They provide one of the most important ecosystem services, i.e., pollination. By doing so, they protect and maintain ecosystems as well as animal and plant species and contribute to genetic and biotic diversity. But severe changes in their natural environment due to monocultures, use of chemicals, climate change, urbanisation pollution etc., are not making it easy for them... This pressure exhibits itself in the form of lower disease tolerance, altered behaviour and colony loss, affecting both beekeepers and reducing the bee’s effectiveness as pollinators. To tackle this problem beekeepers are a) using more and more chemicals because of lower disease tolerance b) trying to compensate colony losses with introducing new ones, often with non-native queens from suppliers outside their regions, which in the end is not doing the trick. Uncontrolled hybridisation of local and introduced subspecies is causing genetic erosion of the local subspecies which have higher survival ability than introduced subspecies in the same environment. So, b) eventually also brings us back to a). The reduction of the above-mentioned effects can be achieved by establishing efficient mating control. Mating control is important because of conservation and selection as an alternative to chemical control of parasites like Varroa destructor, improving the parameters which ensure higher survival rate of the local honey bees, improving their viability, and ultimately adding value to their ecosystem services.

In Europe 9.2% of bees are threatened with extinction and its high time we step up our game and try to compensate for our past and present activities, assisting in the protection of threatened (sub)species, improved management of local subspecies and in improved ecosystem services, such as pollination by honey bees. BeeConSel is taking action through the foreseen outputs which will determine suitable tools to perform selection needed for both conservation and well-being of local honey bee subspecies to achieve the reduction of effects, such as decreased use of chemicals on long-term and decreased loss of genetic diversity through parasitic diseases. Project 0477 - Joint Effort for Honey Bee Conservation and Selection – BeeConSel !23

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Reducing the Consumption and Disposal of Single-use Plastics in the Tourism Industry in Cyprus, Greece and Malta What is the problem? Plastics are important for our lives and the EU economy. However, according to the Plastics Strategy (2018), Europeans generate around 25.8 million tonnes of plastic waste/year. Less than 30% of this is collected for recycling. Landfilling (31%) and incineration (39%) remain high. Production and incineration of plastic waste produce ~400m tonnes of CO2/year globally, contributing to climate change. It is estimated that plastic accounts for over 80% of marine litter. Unrecycled plastics take hundreds of years to break down, causing irreversible damage to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity. Microplastics released into air, water and food create health risks (~300,000 tonnes/year). Demand for recycled plastics is only 6% of total demand in the EU, meaning that ~95% of the value of plastic material is lost to the EU economy (€70-105b in lost income). Plastics accumulate in the Mediterranean Sea at a density comparable to areas of highest plastic accumulation in oceans. This is pertinent to the islands of Cyprus, Malta and Greece; our project’s scope. Our project targets single-use plastics (SUP), which constitute 50% of all marine litter most often found in EU beaches, according to EU Directive 2014/904 on plastics. Tourism is a major contributor to all 3 national GDPs of the partner countries (Cyprus:6.4% in 2015;Malta: 7.2% in 2016;Greece:18.3% in 2017), but one of the biggest sources of marine litter. All 3 countries top the EU list for per capita generation of municipal waste (for 2016 in kg/capita:640 in Cyprus, 621 in Malta,498 in Greece), with low respective recycling rates (in 2016-7% in Malta&16% in Greece,in 2017-14% in Cyprus). These tourism industries rely on litter-free beaches to attract visitors. This presented an opportunity for this pilot project to support the 3 industries to move to sustainable and

resource-efficient business models that will replace SUP, reducing their consumption, disposal, related GHG emissions, climate change impacts and leakage into ecosystems.

What has the European Union done so far? The European Union has adopted the Directive 2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, with the objective of preventing and reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, in particular the aquatic environment, and on human health. It also aims to promote the transition to a circular economy with innovative and sustainable business models, products and materials, thus also contributing to the efficient functioning of the internal market. This Directive has now been transposed into national law in all Member States, including the 3 partner countries.

What does the SUPMed project aim to achieve? The project titled “Reducing the Consumption and Disposal of Single-use Plastics in the Tourism Industry in Cyprus, Greece and Malta”, also known as “SUPMed”, aims to implement a common solution to the EU shared and urgent challenge of single-use plastics (SUP), to help the tourism sector in the three regions and in Europe in general, reduce the consumption, disposal and impact of SUP in line with EU Directive 2019/904. In other words, this project aims to assist tourist establishments apply the principles of the EU directive efficiently and effectively.


Regional Cooperation Magazine Specifically, the partners have selected a sample of at least 3 tourist establishments per region. Now, the partners are supporting these coastal tourist establishments in Cyprus, Malta and Greece (Crete) via pilots to move to sustainable resource-efficient business models that will identify and replace commonly used SUP with environmentally friendlier, readily available and affordable alternatives. The pilot samples will be supported in phasing out and replacing SUP via a bespoke free web-based decisionsupport tool (DST) that is being developed. The DST will present viable and available alternatives to the most commonly used SUP, taking into consideration the cost and environmental impacts of each alternative across its life-cycle. The outputs of the project will be the DST, along with best practice guides based on the findings of the pilots. The project outputs will be disseminated to tourist establishments, NGOs and SMEs all over Europe as a means to assist in the process of replacing or minimising the use of SUP, and their associated environmental impacts. To keep up to date with the project, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and visit our project website. Project 0572 - Reducing the Consumption and Disposal of Single-use Plastics in the Tourism Industry in Cyprus, Greece and Malta


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International scientific cooperation can boost Knowledge society Viruses don’t care about human geographical borders. The coronavirus pandemic made it clear how fast even great distances can be covered by viruses within days. The same is also true for tick-borne diseases and, in particular, for flaviviruses. Tick-borne flaviviruses can move far from their original region carried by wild mammals. Several societal and environmental factors can force deer or other small wild rodents to migrate in more favourable habitats. These animals naturally carry ticks, and along with them, they also carry pathogens including viruses. This makes it clear that borders are only a human need: animals and viruses can cross them easily without leaving traces. Unless they carry pathogens: when this happens, they do leave traces of their passage in human health. The SARS-CoV-2 virus also showed us the importance of sharing knowledge, and surveillance. Both are pivotal in facing threats to human health. In the tick-borne flaviviruses scenario a constant survey of ticks, pathogens and animals is crucial to monitor how diseases spread in new areas. These activities are much more effective when performed within a framework of international cooperation. The TBFVnet project was established to foster scientific collaboration among research institutes across Europe to study and survey tick-borne flaviviruses. Each partner institute excels in a different field of study of flavivirus biology and distinct expertise can make the difference.

Slovak Academy of Science study the ecology of new flaviviruses. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health monitors TBFV locally and develops molecular and serological diagnostic tools including sequencing of viral genomes. The partner from Umeå University, Sweden, is expert in the virushost interactions and neurological aspects of TBFV diseases. Finally, the ICGEB in Italy develops and studies virus-host cell interactions, novel diagnostic and surveillance tools, and antivirals. In addition, the ICGEB is actively involved in expanding this network to neighbouring countries. Within TBFVnet, partner institutes do their best in sharing protocols and practices to study and survey tick borne flaviviruses. One of the most successful activities are the regular online meetings to present, share and discuss laboratory procedures to produce antibodies, isolate viruses, and other techniques to study tick-borne flaviviruses. The efforts of TBFVnet project go beyond research. The established network is willing to do its part to enhance the benefit for the whole society with a clear vision of the role of science in the knowledge society and economy. Collectively, the partners are able to capitalise on scientific discoveries and basic and applied research. Society can benefit from these efforts thanks to the transfer of these knowledge from research to industry and effective medical applications. Project 0659 - TBFVnet: surveillance and research on tick-borne flaviviruses (TBFV)

The TBFVnet partner at the Veterinary Research Institute of the Czech Republic is expert in the pathogenesis of Tick-Borne Encephalitis virus and the development and testing of vaccines and antivirals. In Russia, the Chumakov FSC for Research and Development of Immune-and-Biological Products focuses on the surveillance of Eastern strains of TBFV as well as on antivirals and vaccines. Scientists at the Biomedical Research Center of the !26

Regional Cooperation Magazine

S. Muleviciene (Project manager), S. Rudenaite, Chairperson of the Council of Judges of Lithuania and R. Moliene, Research coordinator


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Cider Cluster - building a new industry
 by sharing knowledge Knowledge economy: Throughout the value-chain for cider and wine, from the farmers to the consumers, knowledge is key. How do we share knowledge?

innovating the fruit- and cider-industry of Hardanger. Thus, also adding value to the cider-industry and economy of the farmers, new activities and the municipality.

The Cider Cluster Hardanger – is a success story of cooperation and cocreation. An example of cooperation between producers and farmers, and between farmers, researchers, customers and the tourist industry. Together they share knowledge and facilitate growth. The cluster will help ensure quality, product development and innovation of cider from Hardanger.

Customers are essential - producers need to sell their products. We need to know what is valuable information (=knowledge) about the product. Customers are also very important communicators, and will share their knowledge of their experience in Hardanger next to sharing information about the product.

The Fruit Farmers are most competent and know their craft well. They know how to grow and how to accommodate market demands. In Hardanger they started to grow apples in the 12th century. Farmers have to both use their acquired expertise and gain new knowledge.

Tourism is when customers come together, people visiting an area for a reason. The cider industry attracts many new guests to our region, gathering new knowledge about Hardanger. In total, tourism generates business for farmers, producers, hotels, restaurants, transportation and many other activities. Also, new activities are created. Its value-chain is based on knowledge.

The Cider producers have to make sure their products are of value to their customers. That requires knowledge both about their product and their customers. Taste is personal, product is personal, but quality is obtained by knowledge. To meet customers' expectations, this knowledge is important. A producer and innovator also needs to be a very good communicator and have strategic skills on many levels and arenas. The producers market stretches from you and me, to restaurants, tourism and the Wine monopoly in Norway. The knowledge and value-chain these producers are obtaining and delivering are growing fast, with a potential not known today. Through taste, sensation and meeting expectations, this adventure is becoming very important to our region Hardanger. Nibio Ullensvang located at Lofthus, the core village of fruit farming, is a science and research center, essential and important for developing and

In sum the knowledge based economy moves in circles, or more likely, in spirals. Knowledge is being generated in one part of the value-chain and moved to another, where needed, and so on. Knowledge is key, knowledge is the oil in the value-chain ‘machine.

Trude Rinaldo, Hardangerrådet iks, Postboks 78, NO-5782 Kinsarvi, Norway 2 Kjersti Kildahl, Norsk institutt for bioøkonomi (NIBIO), Postboks 115, NO-1431 Ås, Norway 1


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Photo Credit: Store Naa

Photo Credit: Rystein Grutle Haara

Photo Credit: Sysegard Siderklynga

Project 0682 - Uncorking rural heritage: indigenous production of fermented beverages for local cultural and environmental sustainability !29

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State of the Art Analysis: The power of good information to prevent radicalisation through awareness, knowledge and skills building Directed at offenders, prison and probation staff, and community organisations, the HOPE project’s threefold concept focuses on radicalisation prevention efforts, needs and risk assessment, and intervention strategies in different European countries, with a particular focus on the Balkans.

Introduction Radicalisation has emerged as one of the most serious security and social problems in Europe. Although different approaches have been employed to counter radicalisation and violent extremism, notably preventive and reactive methods, with the presentation in early 2014 of the European Commission's Revised EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism (Council of the European Union, 2014), the focus of intervention and deradicalisation policies has incorporated other ways of combating this problem. This shift in focus has been forced given the increasing number of arrests in recent years. Mounting pressure on prisons and probation systems, coupled with the increase in the number of detained terrorists and the few but striking cases of recidivism, raises the question of whether the relationship between intervention models and disengagement and deradicalisation needs to be strengthened. Likewise, the unexpected phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, who account for the highest proportion of arrests and convictions in Europe, has contributed significantly to increasing public interest in these issues, prompting both professionals and academics to invest resources to prevent recidivism and find ways to achieve the short and medium-term reintegration of terrorists when they leave prison.

Radicalisation is, indeed, a complex phenomenon that each individual experiences in a unique way. Given this variability, it is necessary to identify similarities and patterns to improve our understanding of the phenomenon and enable its prevention or – at the least – mitigate its harmful effects. Although it is true that, in most cases, radicalisation does not culminate in the use of violence, the spectacular nature of acts of violent extremism increases their social impact, which violent extremists and terrorists take advantage of to try to impose their political agenda. Thus, terrorism is a threat to citizens insofar as the induction of fear produced by terrorist attacks can lead to polarisation between ethnic, religious or national groups, and the promotion of conflict among different segments of society (Doosje et al., 2016) – a society already affected by acute political polarisation, which undermines the democratic well-being of our communities (Vachudova, 2021). During 2019, in the Member States of the European Union alone, 119 terrorist attacks were reported, and more than one thousand individuals were arrested (Europol, 2020). Despite the slight decrease in the number of attacks with respect to previous years, the number of detainees seems to remain almost constant. Although the effects of COVID-19 have influenced these figures, this downward trajectory is not expected to continue, with some experts even claiming that radicalisation is increasing due to greater use of the Internet (de la Corte & Summers, 2021). Until these trends are confirmed and cease to be merely exaggerations of risk, the truth is that radicalisation leading to terrorism is worryingly present in our societies.


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Radicalisation in the prison context The prison context has been linked to radicalisation and terrorism in different ways. Firstly, prisons have been considered as preventive mechanisms, with various objectives, including to: (1) deter terrorists from acting; (2) punish those who violate the law; (3) rehabilitate radicalised individuals; and (4) incapacitate terrorists from committing other attacks (Bove & Böhmelt, 2020; Neumann, 2010). Therefore, prisons act as another means for countering terrorism. Secondly, terrorism constitutes a major disruptive factor for prison systems. The entry of terrorist inmates is a challenge that has radically transformed the prison population. The profile of these inmates, their political motivations, their symbolic character and their collective nature (McEvoy et al., 2007) set them apart from other inmates and, to a certain extent, motivate them to openly position themselves against power (von Page, 1998). As a result, prisons have sometimes been used by terrorist groups to reorganise (González, 2018), increase the visibility of a conflict with the state (Passmore, 2009), or proselytise and recruit assets (Cuthbertson, 2004). In response, prison regimes have been toughened, prioritising security over treatment and its rehabilitative role (Giani, 2018). Concern about radicalisation and proselytism in prisons has also led to the extension of surveillance and control to segments of the prison population linked with common crime. This extension of control and security entails the risk of the perception among those subjected to these measures that they are under permanent suspicion. Thus, it has been seen that the indiscriminate and disproportionate application of radicalisation prevention strategies can be counterproductive and fuel a sense of victimisation among the Muslim prison population (Murray, 2014). These problems and the functions of prisons concerning terrorism have been superseded in recent years within the European context. During 2019, there were a total of 1,004 arrests for terrorism crimes: 436 for jihadism, 111 for extreme left activities, 21 for the extreme right and 48 for ethno-nationalist violence (Europol, 2020). These data, which reflect a growing trend in recent years, reveal the considerable increase in the prison population - both

convicted and in preventive custody - related to political violence. To this, we must add two other factors that aggravate the management of such individuals in European prison systems (Basra & Neumann, 2020). Firstly, their personal backgrounds are increasingly diverse and include more and more women with a noticeable rise in far-right ideology. Secondly, the sentences imposed cover a broad period, with a large number of short-term custodial sentences.

The challenge of social reintegration in the scope of radicalisation With the increase of the prison population related to political violence in Europe, coupled with the often short sentences received, the chances for a rehabilitation programme or intervention to be conducted in prison are reduced. Thus, the issue of individuals leaving prison that were imprisoned based on terrorist sentences, that are radicals or are at the risk of radicalisation is of particular importance. Probation is an opportunity to address the existing challenges based on collaboration between prison and probation officers, allowing offenders to rebuild their place in the community, starting by developing offenders' abilities with mentoring programmes and cooperation actions with social and family networks. As a matter of fact, reintegration into society is an important protective factor against potential re-radicalisation (RAN, 2016). Without support, disassociation with family and friends, emotional stress, and difficulties managing the practical aspects of day-to-day life can induct former inmates to return to extremist circles or even recidivism due to the lack of constant supervision and the possibility of contact with former associates. Therefore, the work of the correction system is decisive towards achieving complete reintegration to establish new behaviours, social relations, coping, identity, ideology, and performance on action orientation.


Regional Cooperation Magazine However, leaving prison poses another type of challenges for the strategy to prevent and counter-radicalisation, such as the need to ensure a multiagency cooperative framework, the safety and well-being of these professionals, and the effective promotion of these individuals’ reintegration (Adams, 2019). On the other hand, society must be prepared to accept them and actively support them, which not always is confirmed upon the return of these offenders to their communities. Consequently, it is essential to build a comprehensive and early reintegration planning with social and institutional support during the transition period. Additionally, it is crucial to promote cooperation between different organisations, namely between the police, prison and probation services, psychologists, civil society organisations, family and friends, and communities (RAN, 2019).

Another factor that must be incorporated into training and everyday work is the use of risk assessment tools. Indeed, to improve accuracy and avoid human bias, risk assessment tools have been developed to gather, monitor, and analyse helpful information to make decisions on, for instance, inmate classification and resource allocation. For example, VERA, CYBERA and IR46 are powerful instruments to observational protocols and self-report measures. Nevertheless, these tools do not directly predict the future use of violence but rather indicate the likelihood of existing risk based on identifying behaviours or scenarios. With the aim of ensuring their normalisation in the prison and probation contexts, as well as its correct and adequate use, these professionals must be familiarised and trained to apply them.

Correctional staff management and training resources

The issue of radicalisation in the Balkans: A brief overview of HOPE’s State of the Art Analysis

The correctional staff plays an essential role in achieving deradicalisation and disengagement interventions. Hence, it is crucial that these are trained in radicalisation, such as in its concept, theories, process and risk factors, so that they are able to identify, report and respond to a potential situation. Besides the training of prison and probation staff, a priority should also be adjusting the profile training of the trainers-facilitators, alongside psychologists, educators, social workers, and, in most cases, religious representatives, next to victims and their representatives, family members, or members of rehabilitated groups. As seen, these groups are of vital importance to the reintegration of offenders. To address the ideological component, ‘Exit Programmes’ are vital. Activities such as dialogue between victims and perpetrators, artistic reflection, prevention work, or guided debates of a political or theological nature are crucial to the disengagement process. In addition, daily life activities such as finding a new job, family therapy, changes of residence, providing socioeconomic and legal assistance, or even psychological and religious counselling also reduce individual or collective behavioural and ideological commitment to a group, milieu or movement.

Laying down the groundwork for the project’s core activities is HOPE’s State of the Art Analysis, gathering a comprehensive literature review and an extensive mapping of the ‘promising’ and ‘best’ approaches to prevent, deal with and tackle the issue of radicalisation and violent extremism. In addition, this report encompasses a European-wide survey aiming to understand the current prevention strategies and efforts in place (including curricular training provisions, risk assessment instruments, and deradicalisation/ disengagement programmes) within various European jurisdictions. The main type of political violence in the Balkan regions (especially in the Western Balkans) is that of religious inspiration, mainly associated with Islam and, to a lesser extent, with orthodox radicalism. While religious radicalisation is the most worrying in general, nationalist or ethnic radicalisation is the main form of radicalisation in countries such as North Macedonia or Serbia, and, to a lower degree, extreme right radicalisation (Prislan et al., 2018). Although this is the general pattern, certain differences were observed by country (see Prislan et al., 2018). For example, in the case of Greece, young people are more likely to join anarchist groups (Speckhard & Shajkovci, 2018). !32

Regional Cooperation Magazine Focusing on jihadism, Islamist militants have tried to gain influence in recent years. To do this, they have created an infrastructure of mosques controlled by radical clerics and located in isolated locations where extremists live undisturbed by the institutions (Prislan et al., 2018). These movements have been financed from abroad. In Bosnia and Herzegovina alone, an estimated 800 million in Saudi funds have been injected, of which around 100 are untraceable (Petrović, 2016). Despite jihadism being one of the main problems in the region, Salafism is considered a largely new phenomenon in the region. In 2017, for example, only around 15% of the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina approved of the Salafist movement, while 3% approved the use of suicide bombings (Prislan et al., 2018). In Serbia, however, the danger from terrorist attacks and recruitment by jihadist organisations does not seem to be very relevant. Instead, the greatest threat is related to financial transactions, the arms trade across the country and the revival of terrorist ideologies that tend to have more to do with nationalism and support for Russia. In this respect, Serbia has convicted 29 people for fighting with pro-Russian groups in the Ukraine war (Rovcanin et al., 2020). Even though Albania is considered one of the countries with the lowest incidence of extreme right attacks (Rrustemi, 2020), some events that have occurred in recent years point to the incipient importance of this type of extremism. For example, in 2018, an Albanian of Greek origin carried out an attack in the south of the country in the name of the Greek organisation Golden Dawn, and recent videos of two Catholic Albanians were published inciting attacks against Muslim Albanians visiting the coast (Vrugtman, 2021). The issue of returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters is also of great importance, as Balkan countries need to have a strategy in place to effectively deal with the risk they represent (i.e., risk assessment, offender management/inmate placement to avoid having further radicalised individuals in prison, deradicalisation/disengagement towards their social reintegration). In total, it is estimated that between 800 and 1,000 people from the Balkan states travelled to Syria and Iraq between 2012 and 2016 (Azinović, 2017; Metodieva, 2018). Of these, at least 800 were from the Western Balkan

countries, mainly Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Macedonia (see Table 1); the first three rank among the European countries with the most foreign fighters per capita. Other estimates indicate that approximately one-third of these have returned (Azinović & Bećirević, 2017; Metodieva, 2018) and that specific cities and towns have been more affected than countries (Metodieva, 2018). Table 1 - Western Balkan war travellers to Syria and Iraq

Regarding radicalisation in prisons, several risk factors of the prison environment in this region contribute to inmate radicalisation, such as overcrowding, the lack of activities and a violent environment. Moreover, inmates convicted for terrorism-related crimes are usually placed in highsecurity wings and treated like other high-security inmates, at least in Kosovo (Bartetzko, 2015). As such, radicalisation in prison is also a problem in the region, with Bartetzko (2015) having estimated that in Kosovo prisons specifically, there were a total of 22 jihadist inmates and another 26 who had been radicalised in prison (see Table 2).


Regional Cooperation Magazine Table 2 - Terrorism-related sentences in the Western Balkans

Hence, the Balkan and adjusting Southeastern and Eastern European counties represent a particular challenge for the European approach to radicalisation, mainly connected to the foreign terrorist fighters that are returning to the region.

impact, which violent extremists and terrorists take advantage of to impose their political agenda. Much scientific research has focused on finding a profile that would define terrorists, yet it has been concluded that their profile is no different from the general population’s individual. Instead, an individual's vulnerability to radicalisation depends on their behaviours, intentions and attitudes, supported by a number of personal factors regarding family elements, school, peer-group and community engagement. In terms of radicalisation, identification and prevention in correctional systems, the HOPE initiative is developing newly designed, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to training and learning, raising awareness and fostering overall knowledge. That is why the HOPE initiative strives to improve the skills set of judicial, prison and probation practitioners, as well as enhance the competencies within a regional stakeholders’ network. In addition, this network promotes training sessions, workshops, high-level seminars, and policy forums while developing and implementing effective training programmes to increase the efficiency and results of training interventions towards radicalisation prevention for those at risk and who have already been radicalised. Furthermore, this project increases the skills of community organisations' staff (including religious institutions) on dealing with individuals at risk or who have been radicalised at several levels, acting on prevention, management, and intervention.

Why is HOPE important?

Achieve, adapt, overcome!

The issue of radicalisation leading to terrorism and violent extremism poses a threat to the states' security and fundamental values, including human rights. As we live in a political-polarisation society (between ethnic, religious, or national groups), terrorism is a threat to citizens by inducing fear itself. Although in most cases, radicalisation does not particularly culminate in the use of violence, the nature of violent terrorists’ acts increases their social

As we have seen, radicalisation has emerged as one of the most serious security and social problems in nowadays society. Although different approaches, methods and practices have been developed to counter this problem, the increased number of detained terrorists and the unexpected phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters contributed significantly to increasing public and professional interest in these issues.


Regional Cooperation Magazine To effectively respond to this matter, corporations and partnerships must be promoted with Balkan, Southern and Eastern European countries due to their particular exposure to these and related threats. Focusing primarily on the anticipatory and direct levels, the HOPE “Holistic radicalisation prevention initiative” resources strive to prevent recidivism and find ways to achieve the short and medium-term reintegration of inmates within prisons (or probation) and ex-inmates. In order to add value to the European discussion on radicalisation, the HOPE project is currently designing a networking structure for continuous training and knowledge sharing about radicalisation and violent extremism in the Balkan, Southern and Eastern European countries. This project involves training and research organisations, academics, prisons and probation administrations working together to create a European Learning Hub on Radicalisation. Cooperation between various actors such as public sector representatives, professionals of the prison and probation sector, consultancy-orientated private firms, research institutions, and NGOs are working together to achieve the project’s primary goal – a holistic radicalisation prevention initiative. The Consortium is represented by six EU Member states and two non-EU countries, through the collaboration of IPS_Innovative Prison Systems (Portugal), the Bulgarian Association for Policy Evaluation (Bulgaria), Bucharest-Jilava Penitentiary (Romania), Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Slovenia, Probation Administration (Slovenia), General Directorate “Execution of Sentences” (Bulgaria), Foundation Agenfor International (Italy), Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies (Spain), Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia (Serbia) and University College of Norwegian Correctional Service (Norway).

References: Adams, T. (2019). Approaches to countering radicalisation and dealing with violent extremist and terrorist offenders in prisons and probation. Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Centre of Centre of Excellence and the RAN P&P Working Group. https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/default/files/what-we-do/networks/ radicalisation_awareness_network/about-ran/ran-p-and-p/docs/ ran_wrk_pp_pract_3rd-2018_20190606_en.pdf Azinović, V. (2017). The foreign fighter phenomenon and radicalization in the Western Balkans: Understanding the context, 2012-2016. In V. Azinović (Ed.), Between Salvation and Terror: Radicalization and the Foreign Fighter Phenomenon in the Western Balkans (pp. 9–20). The Atlantic Initiative. Azinović, V., & Bećirević, E. (2017). A waiting game: Assessing and responding to the threat from returning foreign fighters in Western Balkans. Regional Cooperation Council. https://www.rcc.int/pubs/54/a-waiting-game-assessing-and-responding-to-thethreat-from-returning-foreign-fighters-in-the-western-balkans Bartetzko, R. (2015). Prisoners of faith. A study about prisoner radicalization in Kosovo. https://www.academia.edu/13806358/ Prisoners_of_Faith_A_study_about_Prisoner_Radicalization_in_Kosovo Basra, R., & Neumann, P. R. (2020). Prisons and terrorism: Extremist offender management in 10 European countries. International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR). https://icsr.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/ICSR-ReportP r i s o n s - a n d - Te r r o r i s m - E x t r e m i s t - O ff e n d e r- M a n a g e m e n t - i n - 1 0 - E u r o p e a n Countries_V2.pdf Bove, V., & Böhmelt, T. (2020). Imprisonment and terrorism. Terrorism and Political Violence. https://doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2020.1768078 Council of the European Union (2014). Revised EU strategy for combating radicalisation and recruitment to terrorism (5643/5/14). https://data.consilium.europa.eu/ doc/document/ST-9956-2014-INIT/en/pdf Cuthbertson, I. M. (2004). Prisons and the education of terrorists. World Policy Journal, 21(3), 15–22. De la Corte, L., & Summers, M. (2021). Yihad en tiempos de pandemia. ¿Hasta qué punto ha influido e influirá el coronavirus en el terrorismo y la violencia yihadistas? [Jihad in times of pandemic. To what extent has the coronavirus influenced and will influence jihadist terrorism and violence?]. Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos ( I E E E ) . h t t p : / / w w w. i e e e . e s / G a l e r i a s / f i c h e r o / d o c s _ i n v e s t i g / 2 0 2 1 / DIEEEINV01_2021LUICOR_YihadPandemia.pdf !35

Regional Cooperation Magazine Doosje, B., Moghaddam, F. M., Kruglanski, A. W., Wolf, A. De, Mann, L., & Feddes, A. R. (2016). Terrorism, radicalization and de-radicalization. Current Opinion in Psychology, 11, 79–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.06.008 Europol (2020). European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT). https://www.europol.europa.eu/activities-services/main-reports/european-union-terrorismsituation-and-trend-report-te-sat-2020 Giani, L. (2018). The evolution of Italian penitentiary legislation. Rehabilitation as an aim of sentencing and prisons. A possible combination?. In E. Fransson, F. Giofrè, & B. Johnsen (Eds.), Prison, Architecture and Humans (pp. 309–327). Nordic Open Access Scholarly Publishing (NOASP). González, M. (2018). La caída de Stormont, la sectarización del conflicto y el desarrollo del IRA [The fall of Stormont, the sectarization of the conflict and the development of the IRA]. Revista Aequitas, 12, 91–113. McEvoy, K., McConnachie, K., & Jamieson, R. (2007). Political imprisonment and the "war on terror". In Y. Jewkes (Ed.), Handbook on Prisons (pp. 293–323). Routledge. Metodieva, A. (2018). Balkan foreign fighters are coming back: What should be done? Strategic Policy Institute (STRATPOL). https://stratpol.sk/balkan-foreign-fightersare-coming-back-what-should-be-done Murray, C. (2014). "To punish, deter and incapacitate": Incarceration and radicalisation in UK prisons after 9/111. In A. Silke (Ed.), Prisons, Terrorism and Extremism: Critical Issues in Management, Radicalisation and Reform (pp. 16–32). Routledge. Neumann, P. R. (2010). Prisons and terrorism: Radicalisation and de-radicalisation in 15 countries. International Center for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) in partnership with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). https://icsr.info/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/ICSRReport-Prisons-and-Terrorism-Radicalisation-and-De-radicalisation-in-15-Countries.pdf Passmore, L. (2009). The art of hunger: Self-starvation in the Red Army Faction. German History, 27(1), 32–59. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerhis/ghn076 Petrović, P. (2016). Islamic radicalism in the Balkans. European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS). https://www.iss.europa.eu/content/islamic-radicalism-balkans Prislan, K., Cernigoj, A., & Lobnikar, B. (2018). Preventing radicalisation in the Western Balkans: The role of the police using a multi-stakeholder approach. Revija Za Kriminalistiko in Kriminologijo, 69(4), 257–268. RAN (2016). Approaches to violent extremist offenders and countering radicalisation in prisons and probation. Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN).

h t t p s : / / w w w. r e p o s i t o r y. c a m . a c . u k / b i t s t r e a m / h a n d l e / 1 8 1 0 / 2 7 1 6 2 4 / ran_pp_approaches_to_violent_extremist_en.pdf?sequence=1 RAN (2019). Current challenges of sentenced extremists for prison regimes. Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/ homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/networks/radicalisation_awareness_network/about-ran/ranp-and-p/docs/ran_pp_paper_prison_regimes_lisbon_21-22_112019_en.pdf Rovcanin, H., Mejdini, F., Kajosevic, S., Xhorxhina, B., & Marusic, S.-J. (2020). Balkan states find prosecuting terrorism a challenge: Evidence in terrorism cases is proving difficult to find, while experts warn that the reintegration and rehabilitation of foreign fighters is an even greater challenge. Hedayah and Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN). https://detektor.ba/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Balkan-States-FindProsecuting-Terrorism-a-Challenge.pdf Rrustemi, A. (2020). Far-right trends in South Eastern Europe: The influences of Russia, Croatia, Serbia and Albania. The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. http:// www.jstor.com/stable/resrep24202 Speckhard, A., & Shajkovci, A. (2018). The Balkan jihad: Recruitment to violent extremism and issues facing returning foreign fighters in Kosovo and Southern Serbia. Soundings, 101(2), 79–109. Vachudova, M. A. (2021). Populism, democracy, and party system change in Europe. Annual Review of Political Science, 24, 1–28. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurevpolisci-041719-102711 Von Page, M. T. (1998). Prisons, peace and terrorism: Penal policy in the reduction of political violence in Northern Ireland, Italy and the Spanish Basque Country, 1968–97. Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230376045 Vrugtman L. (2021) Albania: Will the EU’s Ambiguity Lead to Euroscepticism?. In: Kaeding M., Pollak J., Schmidt P. (eds) Euroscepticism and the Future of Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-41272-2_1

Project 1037 - HOPE – HOlistic radicalisation Prevention initiativE


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Let’s keep our City clean! Children and youth share ideas for waste management in creative competitions What do youngsters think about waste issues? To find out, children and youth were invited to submit creative artworks that highlight, raise awareness or offer ideas for solutions around waste management, sorting and recycling. 4 municipalities in 3 countries participated with children aged 6-11 sending drawings/creative works and youth aged 12-19 videos. The works received showed that youngsters have a good understanding of the problems mismanagement of waste can pose and are aware of its consequences on the environment and life. What’s more, they understand the types of actions and initiatives needed for improved waste management practices. Participants demonstrated through their work their wishes for preserving the environment and living in clean cities while offering ideas on how to solve waste issues and achieve more environmentally aware lifestyles.

reuse, recycling, repair and renovation so that the materials products are made of, play a part in the economy for as long as possible. In this respect, one of the project’s targets is to raise awareness and encourage citizens, youth and children of the municipalities involved to pay attention to waste management, sorting and recycling practices. The competition aims to encourage children and youth to think about such issues in their local cities.

The competitions ran over different rounds, starting locally within schools and in each municipality. In the drawing competition, children’s works went through 3 rounds: best in class, best in year or best in school and best among schools participating within the municipality. The first round of the video competition was open for all, with the best ones within the municipality being chosen by a panel of judges formed by municipality officials. The ‘Let’s keep our City clean!’ competition has been an initiative by the Circular Based Waste Management project which works towards implementing circular based waste management practices. The project if founded on the principles of a circular economy, where waste is considered a valuable resource. It is based on expanding the life cycle of products through Lithuania - Prize awarded to one of the winners of the competition by Mr Virgilijus Radvilas the lead partner of the project !37

Regional Cooperation Magazine The top works in both competitions chosen made it to the final round involving all 4 municipalities: Mažeikiai and Plungė from Lithuania, Paide from Estonia and Sumy from Ukraine. In this round the public were invited to vote for their favourites with the ultimate goal to have one winner from each municipality. The origins of the works and names of the young artists were not revealed were possible and the public were encouraged to vote for as many works as they like. Winners for each round were awarded prizes at ceremonies held locally in Mažeikiai, Paide and Sumy with project partners joining remotely on Zoom. One additional grand prize was awarded by the expert partner, Green Business Norway.

The final winner, Markus Udam, from Paide, Estonia was chosen by a panel of professionals in waste management put together by the expert partner. The grand prize consists of an educational trip to Norway (Covid-19 circumstances permitting) packed with learning activities on best practices in waste management. The winner will be allowed to bring two friends and they will all be expected to document their trip on social media to share their experiences. They will also be expected to present a summary of their trip and lessons learned when they return home. Project 1309 - Circular Based Waste Management

Ukraine - Mayor of Sumy Mr Oleksandr Lysenko with winners of the competition


Regional Cooperation Magazine The final winners for the drawing competition are:

From Paide, Estonia Leene Martoja

From Mažeikiai Lithuania Rusne Puzinaite

From Sumy Ukraine Yehor Riabokon


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Contributors & Credits From the Fund Operators Mateusz Wiśniewski 
 Francesca Bombarda 
 Sara Barbi External Contributors Tom Mc Grath

Claudio Cimino From the Projects Marieta Ivanova Ierotheos Zacharias Bálint Farkas Spela Kodre Diamanto Giannara Fabio De Pascale Vaidotas Norkus Erika Zuodar Silvia Bernardo Maritsa Kissamitaki Monica Tautul 
 Ruslan Stefanov Veronika Móra, Ökotárs

Director Gian Luca Bombarda

Cover Image: Project 0682 - Uncorking rural heritage: indigenous production of fermented beverages for local cultural and environmental sustainability

The contents of the Magazine are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Donors. !40

Regional Cooperation Magazine

born with the intention of sharing the results and updates of the projects participating to the Fund to showcase the main achievements of implemented activities. Follow us: regionalcoopmag.net

Contact us: themag@regionalcoopmag.net



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The Regional Cooperation Magazine - Issue 2  

Born with the intention of sharing the results and updates of the projects participating to the Fund for Regional Cooperation to showcase th...

The Regional Cooperation Magazine - Issue 2  

Born with the intention of sharing the results and updates of the projects participating to the Fund for Regional Cooperation to showcase th...

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