The Regional Cooperation Magazine - Issue 8

Page 1

ISSN 2784-9465

Regional Cooperation Magazine

Credits © Florion Goga, EU Delegation to Albania, 2022


JUNE 2022

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Contents 2 4 8 9 11 14 16 17 18 20 22 24 27 30 32 36 37

Director’s Editorial Youth Detention and The Rocky Road to Rehabilitation: From a Retributive to a Restorative approach Anti-Corruption and Good Governance in Southeast Europe: Towards Shared Anti-Corruption and Good Governance Solutions First R2G4P Policy Forum - Interview to Nora Mehsen, Sector Officer, EEA and Norway Grants Through regional cross-border cooperation and human connectivity towards shared solutions for strengthening the Rule of Law The BLUE-GREENWAY project will involve the local and young community in “green” actions Conference for a thriving civic space – watch the video! Young, green and promoting? 2nd Press Event for SUPMed project». Implemented face to face and online by Heraklion Chamber The partnership of SUPMed project has successfully provided recommendations on how to ban/reduce Single Use Plastics through bespoke Action Plans to the pilot sample of tourist establishments in Cyprus, Malta and Greece Cider is an adventure in Hardanger and in Norway - A national cider cluster will enhance rural development A direct line between researchers and practitioners: Sharing best practices on radicalised youth rehabilitation Engaging children and youth is key to disseminating good practices in Circular Economy Europe is studying geothermal energy in Iceland EU-WATERRES shares recent project updates with stakeholders in Riga Cecilia Bartoli, world-famous opera star, appointed as new President of Europa Nostra Contributors & Credits


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Director’s Editorial Dear Friends, This time I would like to welcome you into our pages expressing my concern about an issue that, I'm sure, concerns so many of us. I am here in my office and I am looking outside the window. Air is so heavy. Sun is so shining. Here in Italy, there is such a hot temperature. It is not raining. There is no water. We cannot wash our cars and someone is already talking about rationing for other daily activities that we usually do without thinking. I am thinking about some of the Regional Cooperation Projects and their attention to those urging issues, and about the high interest the Fund has. Just think about our priority areas: that is why I feel understood. We really need to keep alive all actions towards a recovery of our planet. Because these days, at least here, we understand that, if we do not go on with this fight, in the near future related problems will be multiplying. Climate change, biodiversity, nature, circular economy, pollution, waste and water management… I could go on a lot, but those concepts are only the most important we need to consider to create new basis into our lifestyles. And, again, I am sure you are already doing that, thanks to your actions. We need also, however, to disseminate them as much as possible. Those days, the Green Track campaign, organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) and Biodiversity Action Europe (BAE), just ended. And this is just an example of what we can, and must, do. Not surprisingly, it has been englobed into the European Year of Youth: who, if not our young, will live our planet the next years? And as we know, Climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution are all interconnected and mutually reinforcing, with major negative impacts on health, economy and the natural world. In short, we always end up talking about young people. Like our friend Tom did, while considering other, but equally urgent issues. Since in this changing world, in where we are running faster and faster, another worrying problem is youth criminalisation. And how could we count on our young, if we do not spread a ‘childfriendly’ justice? Tom is talking about that, please go and read his reflection. And, talking about justice, but also about some ‘positiveness’ related to the re-start of physical events, let me invite you to read our pages dedicated to the international conference which was held in Tirana, Albania, within the framework of the Project ‘Portrait of a Judge - a multi-dimensional model of competencies to be measured during the procedures of selection, evaluation and promotion of judges’: ‘Through regional cross-border cooperation and human connectivity towards shared solutions for strengthening the Rule of Law’ has been attended by more than 120 participants!


Regional Cooperation Magazine Talking about Albania, and before going back to our RC Projects, let me spend some words about the Ministerial Meeting of the Western Balkans Platforms on Culture, Research and Innovation, education and Training, held in Tirana just two days ago. A fundamental step further towards a closer cooperation in these policy areas. Indeed, it has been announced the launch of a new Enhanced Partnership with the Western Balkans under the Erasmus+ programme, to give education organisations and institutions of that area which are not associated, the possibility to take part in strategic actions. While I was virtually in Tirana, instead, our Nora was physically representing EEA & Norway Grants and therefore FMO in Zagreb, the last 7th of June, at the Policy Forum ‘Anti-Corruption and Good Governance in Southeast Europe: Towards Shared Anti-Corruption and Good Governance Solutions’ (in the context of the initiative ‘Regional Good Governance Public-Private Partnership Platform’ - R2G4P Project, coordinated by the Center for the Study of Democracy), which discussed how the anti-corruption fatigue and entrenched state capture networks can be effectively counteracted. Please, read not only the summary of that events, but also the interview to Nora, since she is replying to some interesting, and important, questions, which have something related to all of us. Because, as I strongly believe, it is true that the Regional Cooperation Fund is based on different and various areas of interest; while I think that they are all interlinked. justice is related to anti-corruption measures and climate change is influencing the lives of all of us, passing by education needs, even if your specific job has ‘nothing’ to do with the fight against it. Therefore, please keep exchanging inspiring practices and hints ‘exploiting’ this virtual space, our Mag. Which becomes real as soon as we understand that the issues it is covering are touching concretely each one of us.

Enjoy our Mag, hoping it will be again, for anyone, a food for thought.

Gian Luca Bombarda The Fund Director


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Youth Detention and The Rocky Road to Rehabilitation: From a Retributive to a Restorative approach “The ladder of law has no top and no bottom.” Statistics and experience have shown that criminalisation, and in particular imprisonment, tends to undermine efforts to assist juveniles in reintegrating positively into the community. Criminalisation and periods spent in juvenile detention centres may have the reverse effect of turning these juveniles into adult criminals. In Ireland, my home country, reoffending continues to be highest among younger people, with nearly 80% of those aged under 21 when they were committed to prison reoffending within three years of release. Other, random country statistics show: UK 18%; US 80%; Australia 41%. Young people in youth detention have complex needs—they have often experienced socioeconomic disadvantage, family breakdown, trauma, neglect, drug abuse and violence. A key aim of youth detention is reducing young people’s risk of reoffending. Addressing the underlying causes of offending, ensuring good primary and mental health, and enabling

education are all steps that can reduce reoffending. Reducing reoffending is one of the key benchmarks of an effective justice system. Reoffending rates remain stubbornly high and this demands alternative responses, a recent report on penal reform in Ireland found. “Prison cannot solve the homelessness, poverty, addictions, trauma and mental health issues that often underlie persistent low-level offending. Instead of punishing disadvantage, we need to see investment in addressing the root causes of offending, including provision of housing, mental health and addictions services in the community. Alternatives such as integrated community service orders are less damaging than prison, less costly, and the community benefits too. “ The Council of Europe Guidelines on childfriendly justice are clear, concise and sadly often ignored.

Bob Dylan

‘A child-friendly justice system must not “walk” in front of children; it must not leave them behind. It treats children with dignity, respect, care and fairness. It is accessible, understandable and reliable. It listens to children, takes their views seriously and makes sure that the interests of those who cannot express themselves are also protected.’ “Child-friendly justice” refers to justice systems which guarantee the respect and the effective implementation of all children’s rights at the highest attainable level, bearing in mind the principles listed below and giving due consideration to the child’s level of maturity and understanding and the circumstances of the case. It is, in particular, justice that is accessible, age appropriate, speedy, diligent, adapted to and focused on the needs and rights of the child, respecting the rights of the child including the rights to due process, to participate in and to understand the proceedings, to respect for private and family life and to integrity and dignity. !4

Regional Cooperation Magazine The fundamental principles that drive this approach include: Participation; Information, access, consultation in all aspects of the search for justice and youth incarceration; Best interests of the child; all other rights of the child, such as the right to dignity, liberty and equal treatment should be respected at all times; Dignity: Children should be treated with care, sensitivity, fairness and respect throughout any procedure or case, with special attention for their personal situation, well-being and specific needs, and with full respect for their physical and psychological integrity; Protection from discrimination: The rights of children shall be secured without discrimination on any grounds such as sex, race, colour or ethnic background, age, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, socio-economic background, status of their parent(s), association with a national minority, property, birth, sexual orientation, gender identity or other status. Specific protection and assistance may need to be granted to more vulnerable children, such as migrant children, refugee and asylum-seeking children, unaccompanied children, children with disabilities, homeless and street children, Roma children, and children in residential institutions. Rule of law: The rule of law principle should

apply fully to children as it does to adults. Elements of due process such as the principles of legality and proportionality, the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial, the right to legal advice, the right to access to courts and the right to appeal, should be guaranteed for children as they are for adults and should not be minimised or denied under the pretext of the child’s best interests. The protection of the best interest of the child means, for instance, that the traditional objectives of criminal justice, such as repression/retribution, must give way to rehabilitation and restorative justice objectives in dealing with child offenders. The European Model for Restorative Justice with Juveniles (European Council for Juvenile Justice) illustrates the advantages of a restorative approach to child offending. A summary of their research and conclusions is outlined below. The development of the model is based on a comprehensive review of current practice of restorative justice throughout Europe. The model puts a strong emphasis on both children’s rights, including the best interest of the child, and victims’ rights. Evidence shows that a large number of children who commit an offense have a history of exposure to violence and abuse. Many suffer from depression and distress, which is likely to be exacerbated by punitive responses. Restorative justice promotes a clear shift in the way a criminal offense is perceived and responded to. It moves away from retributive

punishment and seeks to address the underlying causes and consequences of offending. Its overall aim is to repair the harm caused by wrongdoing. Depending on the individual circumstances and the harm caused, restorative justice processes can be adapted and implemented in various contexts and through various models, such as mediation, conciliation, conferencing and sentencing circles. Child sensitive restorative justice promotes the child’s rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. It may bring together the victim, the young offender, the child’s parents or guardians, child protection and justice professionals, the school and the community. The benefits of restorative justice for young people are numerous. Children who participate in restorative processes show fewer tendencies towards anti-social behaviour in the community and at home. Participation in restorative justice processes gives children an understanding of the consequences of their acts on others and an opportunity to take responsibility. Research in Europe and in other regions reveals that victims report lower levels of fear and posttraumatic stress symptoms after a restorative justice process. By meeting face to face and hearing a young offenders’ story, they are far more likely to forgive the young person and put the incident behind them.


Regional Cooperation Magazine A recent study shows that at least 85% of victims that have participated in a restorative justice process express satisfaction. The case for a restorative rather than a retributive approach in matters of youth detention and rehabilitation is a strong one, and should not remain in recess for too long in the trial of public and political opinion and action.

Tom Mc Grath


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 !7

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Anti-Corruption and Good Governance in Southeast Europe: Towards Shared Anti-Corruption and Good Governance Solutions

The principles of good governance continue to face challenges in the region of Southeast Europe. The war in Ukraine has starkly demonstrated that closing governance gaps is critical to economic development, national security and resilience vis-à-vis external authoritarian threats. International crises such as the ongoing health and gas crises showcased that Southeast Europe is particularly Fighting corruption by establishing comprehensive preventive anti-corruption mechanisms is critical for decreasing the vulnerability of Southeast Europe to jeopardize democratic institutions and destabilize the socio-economic environment. The new EU member states and candidates from the region are among the largest net recipients of EU funding. Yet, democratic backsliding and corruption continue to haunt their societies, and to reduce the internal cohesion and strength of the EU. The initiative Regional Good Governance Public-Private Partnership Platform (R2G4P) 1 coordinated by the Center for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria, aims to close anticorruption policy implementation and public

procurement gaps across SEE and amplify the impact of the planned increase in EU infrastructure support until 2025. The Platform held on 7 June 2022 in Zagreb the Policy Forum AntiCorruption and Good Governance in Southeast Europe: Towards Shared Anti-Corruption and Good Governance Solutions, which discussed how the anti-corruption fatigue and entrenched state capture networks can be effectively counteracted. Among the keynote speakers and panelists were Daniel Freund, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens/ Europe Free Alliance, Ognian Zlatev, Head of the European Commission Representation in Croatia, Haakon Blankenborg, Ambassador of Norway in Croatia, Guilio Venneri, Team Leader at the Thematic Support Unit – Rule of Law at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, and Constantine Palicarsky, Head of UNODC Programme Office in Serbia, Nora Mehsen, Sector Officer, EEA and Norway Grants. Members of the R2G4P Platform presented their first SEE Good Governance Report which focuses on two of the most challenging governance vulnerabilities in the region: the integrity of the public procurement systems and the management of the energy sector. The panelists agreed that the levels of corruption and rent-seeking rise in times of crisis. Corruption was also acknowledged as a main challenge in policy implementation in emergency situations. For example, the lack of trust in public institutions has led to low rates of vaccination against COVID-19, while at the same time some companies have benefited by monopolising the procurement contracts in the medical sector. According to the SEE Good Governance Report, a mere five companies in Bulgaria have been awarded 70% of the additional government expenditure, which increased due to the pandemic. High inflation rates would also result in larger procurement amounts, thus presenting yet another redflag for potential corruption. R2G4P Project

1 The focus will be placed on nine beneficiary countries - Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.


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First R2G4P Policy Forum Anti-Corruption and Good Governance in Southeast Europe: Towards Innovative Public-Private Partnership Solutions

Interview to Nora Mehsen, Sector Officer, EEA and Norway Grants Mrs. Mehsen, why do you think is it important to participate in this kind of initiatives? It’s a pleasure to be here, to discuss such an important topic – good governance and anticorruption in Southeast Europe. We know that despite much progress in the region, there are still some challenges present, such as inequality, social exclusion, shrinking civic space and lack of public trust in governments. These challenges are not limited only to a national level, they are crosscutting and cross-border challenges. Gathering actors that work with these topics through cross-border cooperation is incredibly important, to discuss the common challenges across the region and find shared solutions. Considering the title of the forum, “Towards Innovative Public-Private Partnership Solutions”: What are “innovative” ways forward in your opinion? We have seen some best practices mentioned today, for example the use of big data regarding public procurements. How publishing public procurement information can be a tool for action for civil society organisations, and other entities, to monitor where the money is going and to understand better where

there can a high risk of corruption. One of today’s speakers mentioned that some fast-track regulatory systems in public procurement during the Covid-19 pandemic could actually entail a high risk of corruption. So, using big data is an interesting and innovative way to foster more transparency and hold governments accountable. Considering public-private solutions, another point discussed during the forum, what are the most efficient mechanisms for fostering partnerships between public entities and civil society organisations? A key activity is to empower civil society actors in a structured way and providing them a seat at the table. Because they represent the voices of the public, that in many cases experience apathy because of distrust in their governments. So they function as both a watchdog to and a partner of governments. In the framework of the Fund for Regional Cooperation, how valuable is this Project? This Project is incredibly valuable. We received over 700 applications under the Fund for Regional Cooperation and the R2G4P Project was one of the 19 selected. This says something not only about the high importance and need for transnational cooperation in Europe, but also about the quality of the Project itself. And with partners from nine countries, many of them being non-EEA countries, and with a Norwegian expertise partner, this project is truly an initiative that works to find common solutions to shared challenges.


Regional Cooperation Magazine What could the EU, national governments, international partners and civil society do more in the next decade to bring the region on a sustainable good governance path? Having clear standards when it comes to anti-corruption and rule of law allows for the creation of a culture of integrity. This is not a fast-track solution. We need a structured way of cooperating among different entities and parts of society, to have standards and procedures to make sure that the values we have and that the laws that are written actually are implemented in practice. What do you believe will be the role of the Fund for Regional Cooperation in the next decade as well? That is an interesting question. The current mechanism of the EEA and Norway Grants ends in 2021, and Norway recently started negotiations with the EU on a next mechanism. So we are not sure about the future of this particular Fund. But regardless of this, what we do know is that cross-border cooperation as an activity is very important. The situation in Ukraine underlines this point, as Russia’s aggression has not only severely affected Ukraine, it has sent shoch-waves across Europe and on the entire global level. So having cross-border cooperation can only be more important in the decade to come. Kristina Tsabala, Gloria Trifonova R2G4P Project


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Through regional cross-border cooperation and human connectivity towards shared solutions for strengthening the Rule of Law On June 13-14, 2022 more than 120 participants from various countries met at international conference which was held in Tirana, Albania, within the framework of a Project “Portrait of a Judge - a multi-dimensional model of competencies to be measured during the procedures of selection, evaluation and promotion of judges", funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the European Economic Area (EEA) and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation.

The international conference "Model of selection, evaluation and promotion of judges: What competences and skills matter? Best practices and trends" was dedicated to the presentation of the findings of the scholars and practitioners, and provided the space to share best practices and experiences, spur discussions and listen to the insights of the attendees. Director of Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation Mr. Gian Luca Bombarda opened the conference noting that „the topic of selection, promotion and evaluation of judges is the key to an independent judiciary and true guarantee of the principle of the Rule of Law. Therefore, international cooperation of judges, scholars and practitioners in this area, striving to find the best possible practices is the best sustainable way forward “. This indeed captures the essence and the ultimate goal of the Project – to provide a model of competences, standards for procedures in selecting, evaluating and promoting judges that ensures unbiased approach, non-discrimination and inclusion and that any European country could tailor-suit to its own needs. The first day of the Conference was dedicated to the selection, appointment and evaluation procedures of judges, while the topics of promotion of judges to higher courts as well as to leadership positions were discussed in the second. The conference was held in hybrid format, allowing participants to meet each other after a while and share the ideas on person and also available to an even larger international audience to be followed online.


Regional Cooperation Magazine This exchange of ideas was very successful with more than 60 people participating live at the venue in Tirana, including the President of the Albanian Judicial Council Mrs Naureda Llagami and the President Albanian Supreme Court Sokol Sadushi, Head of the NGO Tirana Legal Aid Society Raimonda Bozo together with the international experts, such as the President of the Lithuanian Judicial Council Sigita Rudenaitei, Judge of the General Court of the European Union Rimvydas Norkus and other honorable members of the judiciary, academia and non-governmental organizations.

When summing up the experience the project manager prof. dr. Salvija Mulevičienė notes that „events like these give a new spur and provide new energy to the Project. I believe that besides the presentation of the ongoing research results, such live events above all connect people. And this is the highest added value. We got an amazing opportunity to have intense and targeted live exchange of ideas among highly skilled professionals and also to take the discussions outside the conference room.” She also admits that it was refreshing to meet in person after the pandemic, to truly give your attention to one’s companion, expand the network, which also benefits to the success of the Project. !12

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Portrait of a Judge Project


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The BLUE-GREENWAY project will involve the local and young community in “green” actions BLUE-GREEN WAY is a program aiming to find innovative solutions for improving the environmental status of eutrophic and anoxic coastal ecosystems. In this context, the results of the conducted research are disseminated to society in order to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote greener practices. Communicating and engaging the local and global community is an integrated part of the BLUE-GREEN WAY Project. In restoration projects, it is vital to involve the young community in the process and reconcile the local population with the methods to be applied and the desired results. In this way, it will be possible to motivate active local groups of citizens and encourage them decisively in maintaining the positive effects of the actions for as long as possible. Young people are the most emerging target group of such practices. Mainly because they tend to be more interested in environmental issues, and will face the environmental crisis in their lifetime. Moreover, most of the time young people are more willing to change their habits. After all, young people are the ones suffering the consequences of ecosystem degradation in their daily lives, and they will be the ones who will enjoy the benefits of a successful restoration implementation.

Dissemination axes The BLUE-GREEN WAY dissemination practices consist of four main axes: • Living Labs • Workshops • Newsletters • Social Media

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Living Labs involve the local community in a restoration project to the existing environmental degradation situation, the implementation’s goals, and the environmental friendly solutions suggested. Also, the Project will organize educational environmental Workshops in collaboration with educational institutions, which will inform young people about the eutrophic restoration actions and guide them in measures to protect the natural ecosystem. The publication of the Enewsletters is another way to communicate the latest advances and the program’s current status to a broader community. Social Lake Ecosystem Degradation (Photo by nrd on Unsplash) media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, are the most direct way to communicate daily changes and results. What is more, people interested in the program’s goals and point of view-via social media keep in touch with each other, communicate easily and directly and can join online events and webinars. Finally, thanks to Regional Cooperation Magazine, the BLUE-GREEN WAY has a memorable and formal place to develop thinking and implementation process every month. !14

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Living Labs Striving to connect In the next period the Project will develop living labs targeted to inspire action aligned with local realities and lived experience and promote placebased environmental action, documenting sustainability efforts and learnings in the local context. Furthermore, developing inclusive insights on local environmental issues from various groups, connecting young people and building networks among diverse environmental pathways will undoubtedly strengthen the positive footprint of the Project. In that way, the BLUEGREENWAY suggests reconnecting with our roots, exploring what is around us — current efforts, issues, and opportunities, near and far and using imagination and foresight to shape inclusive futures. Blue-Green Way Project


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Conference for a thriving civic space – watch the video! • • • •

Why is a European civil society strategy essential? What are the core principles that should form the basis of the strategy? What similar EU initiatives have been launched in recent years? How can we work on this and build up civic synergies? How can local civil society organisations get involved?

Watch the presentations here! The results of the two days will be shared with EU policy makers soon. The future strategy needs to • recognise the systemic role of civil society • provide resources for civil society organisations • and include guarantees for the free, autonomous and independent functioning of CSOs. This is the only way to build a diverse and thriving civil society across Europe! Equality, freedom, solidarity: the building blocks of modern democracy. A strong civil society can defend these values, yet we often fail to recognise the importance of everyday civic initiatives.

Follow our work and get involved! Visit our Facebook page or the Reclaim Our Civil Space! website. Reclaim Our Civil Space Project

This is why civil society needs recognition and a comprehensive strategy at the European level. This is the aim of the Reclaim Our Civil Space!, an initiative of Central-European CSOs led by Ökotárs - Hungarian Environmental Partnership Foundation. The issue was in focus of our international conference in early June: !16

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Young, green and promoting? experienced (and older) target groups. Not that disseminator doesn't get challenged in the intellectual fashion or that whatever is said is also accepted at the face value; to my opinion it is the fact that young are there to get educated or to receive guidance of some kind, the greatest asset in the dissemination. In general, we meet two kinds of young people in the frame of our project: first kind are the students, still in the process of formal education and the second kind are those who have already completed their formal education and are looking forward to getting their beekeeping going. The first are expecting examples and are storing knowledge for potential use; the second are looking for specific knowledge to improve their skills and/or business.

Dissemination of the project result is as important as getting results, but to many scientists (myself included) this does not come naturally. Of course, publishing scientific papers and having discussions within scientific community is part of the regular job, yet transferring results to the target groups who often do not have "compatible" education or even an intrinsic motivation to use these results, is more difficult. On top of that, making a case with general public and convince them that what you are doing is worth the money, this is both more difficult and even more important. I am aware that this might sound as a lament. However, I should also stress that passing or disseminating results to young people is probably easier in the sense that there are fewer prejudices or lesser resistance to the novelties in young people in comparison with more

The second kind are more important to our project in the short-term. These young people are often well networked with their older, more experienced, and more rigid colleagues. We have planned our project dissemination the way that we include future users in some of our planned operations - that is hands on experience. At the same time, young people in target groups are encouraged to talk to the experts in hope that beside the technique and observations they would also get a rationale for the actions. So far, we are aware that participants of such events are discussing learned lessons among themselves, with older colleagues and with colleagues in other - partner countries included - countries. At this point we can only express satisfaction, we have a working method. Will this make their future behavior "greener"? I do not know, but I surely do hope so. Dr Janez Prešern BeeConSel Project


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2nd Press Event for SUPMed project». Implemented face to face and online by Heraklion Chamber During the event the free online Decision Support Tool was presented (DST) for hotels, which presents sustainable and available alternatives to single-use plastics, taking into account cost and environmental impact during their life cycle. The development of good practice guides to be disseminated in hotels, as well as in environmental NGOs, was also presented as an additional support tool for the replacement of single-use plastics. Mr. Manolis Alifierakis, President of Heraklion Chamber has addressed the event and speakers represented Heraklion Chamber and Anelixis Development Consultants S.S.A..

On Tuesday 17th May 2022, the 2nd Press Event of the project "Reducing the consumption and distribution of single-use plastics in the tourism industry in Cyprus, Greece and Malta", also known as "SUPMed", was help onsite and online, organised by Heraklion Chamber. During the event, participants had the opportunity to be informed about the problems encountered in the environment and in particular the tourism industry by the use of single-use plastics and the EU's agenda for the reduction and replacement of Single-Use Plastics. There was also extensive reference made to what the Greek Legislation on Single-Use Plastics (SUP) imposes for the coming years, the expected results and the outputs of the project.


Regional Cooperation Magazine SUPMed project will run until June 2023 with a total budget of 1,279,405.00 euros. The six partners taking part at the consortium of the project are Aspon Consulting Ltd – Leader Partners (CY), Heraklion Chamber (GR), Anelixis Development Consultants S.S.A. (GR), Cellock Ltd (CY), AIS Environment (MT) and Cyprus Hotel Association (CY). Upon completion of the project, the partnership of SUPMed project aims to reduce the consumption, disposal and impact of single-use plastics in the tourism sector in three Mediterranean regions (Cyprus, Greece, Malta) in line with the EU Directive 2019/904 for the reduction of the impact of plastic products.

The project "Reducing the consumption and disposal of single-use plastics in the tourism industry in Cyprus, Greece and Malta" is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation. For more information on the project, Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and visit our Project Website .

SUPMed Project


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The partnership of SUPMed project has successfully provided recommendations on how to ban/reduce Single Use Plastics through bespoke Action Plans to the pilot sample of tourist establishments in Cyprus, Malta and Greece During the fall and winter of 2022, the partnership of 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” worked closely with the pilot sample of tourist establishments to develop bespoke action plans with recommendations on how the reduce and/or ban Single Use Plastics (SUPs).

parameters, including costs and environmental impacts. Each bespoke action plan was then presented to each tourist establishment in May 2022 during onsite and online trainings. The trainings were delivered by the partners in charge: Aspon Consulting (CY), Anelixis Development Consultants S.A. (GR) and AIS Environment (MT). During the trainings, the partners and the tourist establishments agreed on the recommended actions that will be applied during the summer period of 2022.

From October to November 2021, the ten tourist establishments from Cyprus, Greece and Malta, part of the pilot sample of the project, worked closely with the partners of the project to enter real life data on SUPs being consumed on the bespoke, free web-based decision-support tool (DST) that has also been developed as part of this project. The DST presents viable and available alternatives to the most commonly used SUPs, taking into consideration cost analysis and environmental impacts of each alternative across its life-cycle. For successfully implementing the pilot period, the pilot sample has been trained by the partners on how to use the DST. In addition, during December 2021, the pilot sample had the chance to propose alternations and improvements for the DST, to ensure that the bespoke tool will ultimately assist tourist establishments to reduce and ban SUPs based on the provisions of EU Directive 2019/904 on plastics and national legislation. Since the finalisation of the pilot period, the partners used the data available through the DST for each pilot to develop bespoke action plans. The bespoke action plans were developed aiming to present potential scenarios on how each tourist establishment can effectively replace and/or reduce SUPs and then, based on the suggested scenarios and recommend solutions based on what is feasible to be done, taking into considerations all relevant !20

Regional Cooperation Magazine About the project: The SUPMed project runs until June 2023 with a total budget of €1,279,405.00. The six project partners participating in the project are Aspon Consulting Ltd as the Lead Partner (CY), Heraklion Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GR), Anelixis Development Consultants S.A. (GR), Cellock Ltd (CY), AIS Environment (MT) and the Cyprus Hotel Association (CY). The project consortium aims to reduce the consumption, disposal and impacts of SUP in the tourism sector in these three regions, in line with EU Directive 2019/904 on the reduction of the impacts of plastic products. Through this project, the partners will support samples of coastal tourist establishments in Cyprus, Malta and Greece (Crete) via pilots to move to sustainable resource-efficient business models. The establishments 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 decision-support tool (DST) that will be 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. Following the completion of the pilot in each of the three regions, best practise guides will be developed that will present the findings of the pilots, the impacts of plastic waste on human health and the environment, how to reduce SUP in the tourism and other sectors and what envirionmentally friendlier and affordable alternatives are available. These guides will be disseminated to SMEs, NGOs, tourist establishments and other relevant stakeholders in the three regions and across Europe, as an additional support tool in replacing SUPs.

Atlantica Mare Village Ayia Napa • Radisson Blue Hotel • The Royal Apollonia • Greece – Crete: • Elounda Palm Hotel & Suites • Infinity Blue Boutique Hotel & Spa • Paralos Lifestyle Beach Malta: Hilton Malta • 1926 Hotel & Spa • Mellieha Holiday Centre • The 1st conference event of the project in Malta will be held on July 7, 2022 at Salini Resort, Salina Bay, St Paul’s Bay, and online via Zoom. For more information and registration please fill in the Online Registration Form or contact us on The project “Reducing the Consumption and Disposal of Single-use Plastics in the Tourism Industry in Cyprus, Greece and Malta” is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation. To keep up to date with the project, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and visit our project website. SUPMed Project

The 10 tourist establishments of the pilot sample of the project per country are: Cyprus: GrandResort • !21

Regional Cooperation Magazine

Cider is an adventure in Hardanger and in Norway

A national cider cluster will enhance rural development Hardangerrådet by Trude Lægreid Rinaldo Young takeover The young generation is coming home to be farmers and produce cider. They are taking knowledge and traditions into the future. A very important change we did not believe in, only a few years ago. The spirit and energy they have, is transmittet to all of us, giving new beliefs for our rural future. Why are they coming home? Because fruitframing has become economically sustainable with further prosessing, in this case of apples. But we also see young chefs and others believing in a rural future. Inspires The cider producers of Hardanger, with all their professionalism and knowledge, also inspire young farmers and producers to move to other rural aereas and produce cider. Quality is a key factor in this adventure, to exist and to grow. Obtained experience in Hardanger, and elsewhere is shared among all, and we see new producers all over the country. The other cider regions of Norway as we speak are Sogn og Fjordane, Ryfylke and Telemark. They are working hard and systematically to be seen, and they are making very good ciders. National cider cluster A political seminar was arranged this spring at the “Internationa Ciderfestival in Hardanger”. Main target was to discuss the way forward and how to work together on a national level, based on the current situation in all the cider regions of Norway. Producers and cider regions from the whole country were all invited to this seminar, to present themselves and to talk about the future.

One of the conclusions is to work for a National Cider Cluster. The success of having a cider cluster in Hardanger has been of great importance to the development of this adventure. Producers see that together they are strong and attractive. It is together they are growing and creating. Their competition does not lay within themselves, but with intertnationally prodcts they can compete with at the Winemonopoly and in restaurants. Marketing and selling What has the Winemonopoly meant for Norwegian cider? Maybe more than we think. They are the only shop where you can buy wine and cider in Norway, and it is a national government owned retailer. This means the cider is presentet to all of Norway, and with growing popularity, it gets more and more shelf space. Yes, they are of great importance, both for marketing and for sales of Norwegian cider. At the moment, Norwegian cider is their most growing product in sales figures. The important agreement from 2016, when the fruitfarmers for the first time were allowed to sell their own cider from their farms. This was the big gamechanger, and the start of the adventure. At this point many new producers started. Also the tourist industry saw the potenitial, and Hardanger now has many activities where cider is the main attraction. This brings many guests to the farms, learning about ciderproduction, but they also buy cider to take home. Now the government is seeing what a treasure Norway has, with its quality ciders. Resently they have decidet to serve Norwegian cider at all the embassies. It seems all natural when looking back, but until recently we have been serving Wines from other countries. A very important decition for Norwegian producers. It is an honour and it is confirming the quality. !22

Regional Cooperation Magazine Festivals and Cider Challenges The producers and local communities have for many years arranged festivals in the name of cider, which are getting more and more populare. New and bigger festivals are “Hardanger internasjonale Siderfest” and “Norsk Siderfestival”. They are all important for sharing knowledge and joy, marketing of the ciders and for inviting guests to our and others regions. For the first time in Norway, by Hanen, we are inviting producers from all over the world to come to the Nordic International Cider Awards 8.-10.11.2022 in Bergen.

Edel Sider, Visit Hardangerfjord - Yrjan Olsnes

Development The quality is continuously getting better, and also new types of ciders are reaserched and developed. The other day I tasted a new Pet Nat made with techniques from the wineworld and apples from Hardanger. This is only one of many new ciders. At the moment there are 23 professional cider producers in Hardanger and about 50 totally in Norway. If you want to know more about Hardanger and cider here are some addresses: Taste Hardanger; Visit Hardangerfjord; Siderlandet; Siderklynga

Conclusion Hardanger is a rural region in the middle of an adventure. Why? Because of cooperation and enthusiasm between producers, knowledge, science and the cider cluster. Because of interest from the local authority and work through international projects as our “Uncorking rural heritage”, where experience and knowledge are exchanged across borders and environment. Because the young are moving to Hardanger. Uncorking wine & cider typicality Facebook Instagram Linkedin Uncorking wine & cider typicality Project

Science NIBIO Ullensvang has been and will continue to be of uthermost importance for the deveopment of cider. Since 1949 they have done reaserach on belf of the fruitgrowers and are located at the heart of apple production at Lofthus. Building a National Center for Fruit and Cider next to NIBIO at Lofthus seems very good, where it will be close to science, culture, history and tourism. Education, both of professionals and visitors, is an objective for the center. !23

Regional Cooperation Magazine

A direct line between researchers and practitioners: Sharing best practices on radicalised youth rehabilitation Therefore, it is essential to stimulate and share in-depth and up-to-date knowledge on: • The broad phenomena of radicalisation and violent extremism; • Ideological and belief variables; • Local specificities brought on by history, political and geographical landscape; • Individual vulnerabilities to radicalisation and violent behaviour; • Successful disengagement and reintegration efforts.

Working with radicalised or at risk of radicalisation youth

In response to the proliferation of terrorist attacks as an extremist ideological protest tool, the international concern and efforts to prevent and counter radicalisation increased substantially over the last couple of decades. The literature on the subject has grown, and diverse approaches and practices are used across different jurisdictions. Practitioners and researchers must make use of this accrued knowledge to select and adapt the best strategies. This choice can mean early identification of radicalisation cases and adjusted evaluation, disengagement/ deradicalisation, and reintegration measures.

In addition to the abovementioned topics, practitioners need to account for the particular challenges and vulnerabilities of the groups they work with, as is the case of professionals working with youth. The relation of young people with risky behaviours and a heightened need to establish their identity are factors that must be accounted for in any assessment or intervention. Moreover, the period of transition from school to the job market can also generate risk scenarios in poor social and economic contexts due to unemployment and social exclusion. Generally, young people also have broader access and deeper involvement with the internet and online communities. As such, individuals can be more susceptible to radicalisation strategies and online recruiting, simply as a matter of access. These circumstances may or may not contribute to the radicalisation process of young people, but the knowledge of their influence and appropriate preventive strategies must be part of the practitioners’ toolbox. !24

Regional Cooperation Magazine community links and education, or actionable recommendations for practitioners who want to counter online disinformation. HOPE Radicalisation Network members can find data about youth radicalisation in several countries. The geographical scope of the network allows sharing of in-depth reports and analyses shedding light on local challenges and particularities of regions and nations in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Practitioners in the network can also use it as a direct line to other experts and researchers. Through messages or by asking questions in the forum, members can get responses and generate discussions directly with other specialists.

An invaluable prevention resource: The HOPE Radicalisation Network Finding extensive and reliable information on the wide-ranging topics of radicalisation prevention can be challenging. For practitioners without access to research archives and tools, even more so. But the HOPE – Holistic Radicalisation Prevention Initiative took action to fill that gap. The HOPE Radicalisation Network is a solution that moves the burden from an individual search for resources to a community effort on cooperation and information sharing. Practitioners can explore materials to learn more about different subjects on radicalisation prevention and preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE), including radicalisation prevention in youth. The network has more than 300 free resources that include documents with data on radicalisation drivers in youth, approaches to deradicalisation through improved !25

Regional Cooperation Magazine The online hub also hosts the recordings of the online Transnational Thematic Workshops carried out by the HOPE project. Network members can stay abreast of expert discussions and get invited to future events. The network is open and free for anyone involved in violent extremism prevention and countering, including prison and probation staff, community organisations’ professionals working closely with the criminal justice system, law enforcement agents, judicial practitioners, trainers and educators, and researchers/academics. To join the network, interested users can request to sign up. After signing up, an administrator will review the details and approve the registration request. This network is part of HOPE project’s goal to support continuous training, information and experience sharing on the topic of P/CVE within the Balkans, Southern, and Eastern Europe. With these new tools at their disposal, the practitioners and experts linked through the network can cooperate to achieve better results in the various complementing areas of P/CVE. This vision strives toward a holistic approach involving all relevant stakeholders in a concerted effort to prevent and counter radicalisation. The HOPE – Holistic Radicalisation Prevention Initiative is led by IPS_Innovative Prison Systems (Portugal) in partnership with the University College of Norwegian Correctional Service (Norway), Agenfor International Foundation (Italy), the Euro-Arab Foundation for Advanced Studies (Spain), the Bulgarian Association for Policy Evaluation, the Bulgarian General Directorate “Execution of Sentences”, the Bucharest-Jilava Penitentiary (Romania), the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (Serbia) and the Slovenian Probation Administration (Ministry of Justice). For more information about the HOPE project, please visit HOPE project


Regional Cooperation Magazine

Engaging children and youth is key to disseminating good practices in Circular Economy In the linear consumerist society, goods are produced and people encouraged to buy these on a “take-make-dispose” manner to keep up with the trends promoted. Brands and trends are more than often associated with one’s own identity, in what is labelled as brand tribalism. On one hand, the advance of technology has amplified this phenomenon as it has enabled increased exposure to advertising, leading to higher consumption. Young people today are growing in a world dominated by an ever-increasing influence of technology and media. They are especially susceptible as they find themselves at a phase of discovering and establishing their self-identity. This development is a result of the consumerist behaviours that have been and keep being promoted over the past decades.

Education on circular thinking, from an early age and using the same online platforms that young people frequent are key factors to disseminate information and best practices of a circular economy. Educating children and youth also means that appropriate training must be provided to educators and teachers, especially on practices that apply to local conditions with the collaboration of the municipalities.

On the other hand however, the advance of technology has also allowed information to be more accessible and it is now well known how harmful to the environment these consumerist behaviours are. Experts at Imperial College London are warning over an increasing number of children and young people experiencing eco-anxiety, a chronic fear of environmental doom.*

Engaging children and youth in activities that stimulate their own thinking and their capability to design solutions, is another key factor that helps them achieve a sense of responsibility and ownership while actively being part of the solution for environmental issues.

Taking these effects of technological innovation into consideration, it must also be pointed out that a transition to a circular economy cannot be based only on technology. For a transition to truly take hold requires consistent efforts to change consumption behaviour, waste generation and waste management, among others.

Such an education must also nurture reflection and critical thinking to enable personal and social change. Furthermore, as young people tend to influence each other, it is more effective when children and youth can share information amongst themselves and learn from their peers.

The above practices fall within the framework of the Circular Based Waste Management project, which among other activities, is working directly with local schools and youth.

In order to successfully transition, change must take place on an organisation, cultural and individual level on all layers of society and all stakeholders and citizens.


Regional Cooperation Magazine

Through collaboration with local schools, children and youth are engaged in activities that encourage them to pay consideration to their local environment while keeping focus on the bigger picture, which is to preserve the environment on a global scale.

Some of these activities, include a class on making shelves from secondary raw materials at Kalnėnai Progymnasium in Mažeikiai, Lithuania, the “Painful to See” photo competition, where students from Paide Hillar Hanssoo Elementary School in Paide Estonia took photos to show environmental issues in society and to raise awareness for the preservation of one’s living environment. Another example is the transnational drawing and video competition that took place among the three countries (Lithuania, Estonia and Ukraine) where children and youth highlighted or promoted solutions for environmental issues.


Regional Cooperation Magazine

Dissemination of good practices and examples take place through ownership of the activities by the participants and through events, news and social media. These experiences shared among peers both on a local level and transnationally through social media, help further nurture a circular economy mindset within the children and youth of today - the adults of tomorrow. Circular Based Waste Management project


Regional Cooperation Magazine

Europe is studying geothermal energy in Iceland The utilization of geothermal energy is growing in Europe. From 26th to 28th of April, delegation and cooperation partners of Orkustofnuns came to Iceland from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Norway in the User4GeoEnergy project, which aims to improve energy efficiency in geothermal installations through changing consumer energy characteristics. The aim of the project is to increase the efficiency of district heating systems in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia in order to i n c r e a s e sustainability and decrease air pollution and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Meeting these goals should contribute to making geothermal DH systems more prevalent in cities, mitigating climate change and improving energy security. The project's partners with the National Energy Authority are the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences (MEERI PAS) from Poland, which is leading the project, SLOVGEOTERM a.s. from Slovakia, InnoGeo Ltd. from Hungary and NORCE Norwegian Research Center AS from Norway. During the visit to Iceland, the emphasis was on introducing the activities of companies in Iceland related to geothermal energy and district heating. For

this purpose, a meeting was held at the National Energy Authority, where Halla Hrund Logadóttir, Director of Energy, welcomed the group and gave a presentation, as well as Marta Ros Karlsdóttir, Director of Sustainable use of natural resources. Companies and institutions in Iceland that are related to geothermal energy then had short presentations about their activities where there was an opportunity for discussions between the parties. Visits were also made to various companies related to the utilization of geothermal energy and to the geothermal power plants in Hellisheidi and Reykjanes, where rapid development has taken place. There, the group met companies that use geothermal energy in various products and services and related activities. The companies the group visited were Hitaveita Seltjarnarnes, HS Orka, Bláa lónið, Geothermal Research Cluster (GEORG), Geothermica, Laxar aquaculture, ON, Carbfix, Climeworks, GeoSilica, Friðheimar, Varmaorka, Flúðasveppi and Límtré. It was the opinion of the foreign visitors that there had been a significant progress in Iceland in many areas related to geothermal energy and derivative activities that could be learned from and utilized abroad. There was also interest in further cooperation between parties from the countries in question and Iceland. The project started in October 2020 and will last until September 2023. The budget is EUR 1.32 million and is financed by the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation. Baldur Pétursson, project manager for international projects, is in charge of the project on behalf of the National Energy Authority. !30

Regional Cooperation Magazine The main focus of the project are: •

Dissemination of practical knowledge regarding the management and operation of geothermal district heating between Iceland and Norway on the one hand and Poland, Slovakia and Hungary on the other in order , to increase economic, environmental and climate benefits for all. Development of a mathematical model of geothermal systems (energy source - heat distribution - users) to analyze optimal solutions for the supply of geothermal energy in Poland, Slovakia and Hungary based on geothermal conditions and prices in domestic markets. Emphasis will be placed on temperature control systems and the importance of individual customers by sharing knowledge, experience and technical solutions to improve geothermal utilization based on sustainable solutions. The project also encourages home users to change their focus on central heating and enhance utilization.

Presentations from companies during the visit and more information on the project website can be seen here. User4GeoEnergy Project


Regional Cooperation Magazine

EU-WATERRES shares recent project updates with stakeholders in Riga

Figure 1. EU-WATERRES team with stakeholders at the entrance of LEGMC premises.

Figure 2. Key stakeholder – Iveta Teibe, head of Water Resources Division at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia updated on recent priorities of the Latvian environmental policy in upcoming years regarding water protection.

We were excited to meet EU-WATERRES team members and key stakeholders in Riga, Latvia! The hybrid seminar was held at the premises of partner “Latvian Environment, Geology and meteorology Centre” (LEGMC) on May 31, 2022. The aim was to share the most recent results from project related to hydrodynamic modelling and groundwater resources assessment in pilot areas (transboundary aquifers between Poland- Ukraine and EstoniaLatvia). The emphasis was put on good experience exchange from other ongoing projects like Interreg Est-Lat project “WaterAct”. In total 15 different talks were given by various experts from Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine and Norway. We gathered 58 participants in total and 19 of them were stakeholders. All presentations are available for download here:

Figure 3. Our project colleagues report about current situation directly from Ukraine. Read the latest update on how EU-WATERRES project work in war

situation here:

https:// !32

Regional Cooperation Magazine On June 1 EU-WATERRES project team visited 3 sites for related experience exchange. First, the LEGMC’s laboratory - one of the leading accredited laboratories in Latvia responsible for national water (including groundwater and drinking water), air and soil monitoring. This visit was especially important as all water assessments (and further protection of groundwater resources) rely on good quality data. Therefore, understanding on how to carry out analysis to receive reliable data was extremely important for the team. LEGMC laboratory has been founded 33 years ago in 1989, but since 2019 it is in the main premises of LEGMC in Riga. Currently 123 testing methodologies and 13 calibration methodologies are accredited in the LEGMC laboratory. Apart from air, water and soil analysis, the LEGMC laboratory also calibrates and tests radiation measuring equipment. It employs ~50 specialists with higher education on various fields like chemistry, biology, ecology, geology etc. LEGMC laboratory has been evaluated and accredited in accordance with the requirements of standard LVS EN ISO/IEC 17025: 2017.

Figure 4. View at one of the LEGMC laboratory’s testing areas.

Figure 5. At LEGMC laboratory we were guided through all possible methods to test water samples.

After, the EU-WATERRES team travelled back in time during the visit at “Riga water supply museum” (SIA "Rīgas ūdens"). To effectively manage groundwater resources in the future, we must know the history and development of centralized water supply networks. We learned about almost 400 years long history of Riga urban water supply system – staring from horse-driven pumping station and wooden pipeline system established in mid-17th century when city was supplied with water directly from the river Daugava until nowadays, where water supply well fields “Baltezers” use groundwater in combination with artificial groundwater recharge from lake “Mazais Baltezers” to supply a large part of the capital’s drinking water demand. Did you know, that? • For almost 200 years Riga’s water supply utilized wooden pipes and the power of horses. • The water quality taken directly from river Daugava was poor and increasing illnesses forced to search for better sources. Therefore, from 1904 “Baltezers” water pumping facility was lunched utilizing groundwater and was operational until 1950. !33

Regional Cooperation Magazine •

In 1953 artificial groundwater recharge from lake “Mazais Baltezers” was started to to supply increasing water demand. It is used until nowadays. In 2018 the area was delineated as one of the groundwater bodies at risk in Latvia (according to EU Water Framework Directive) to put extra measures and attention to one of the main drinking water resources in Latvia. Yo u c a n e x p l o r e t h e m u s e u m v i r t u a l l y h e r e : h t t p s : / /

Figure 6. Excursion at the “Riga water supply museum”

Figure 7. Excursion at the “Riga water supply museum”: inside of the museum looked like a wonderful tropical island.


Regional Cooperation Magazine Finally, we Inčukalns acid tar ponds - historically most polluted site in Latvia. They are in the territory of Inčukalns parish 30 - 35 km east of Riga. Between the 1950s and the 1980s, during the Soviet occupation of Latvia, the ponds – which were originally sand quarries – were used as dumping sites for waste. As the quarries had no lining, either at the bottom or on the sides, the acid tar filtered into the soil and contaminated the groundwater in several hundred hectares. The modelling showed that the pollution could reach Gauja river in few decades and cause great danger to aquatic environment. Remediation works are now fully completed, but the safe disposal of acid tar utilization will continue until 2023. In order to manage this water body more efficiently and assess the effectiveness of the measures implemented, in 2018, the territory was delineated as a separate Groundwater body at risk (according to EU Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC).

Figure 9. Current view on the remediated area.

Want to know more about EU-WATERRES project and stay tuned? Follow us on social media: Facebook: Twitter: Homepage: EU-WATERRES Project

Figure 8. Acid tar excavation process during the remediation works. Source: State Environmental Service !35

Regional Cooperation Magazine

Cecilia Bartoli, world-famous opera star, appointed as new President of Europa Nostra Plácido Domingo, to help us steer Europa Nostra to new heights. We admire her sublime voice, her artistic originality and audacity, her dedication to combining art with imaginative thinking, creativity with scientific research, tradition with innovation, her tireless work and professionalism as singer and artistic director, her passion for Europe’s priceless cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, and, of course, her warm and charismatic personality. With all these qualities, Cecilia Bartoli will be a shining light providing guidance and inspiration to our action which is focused on the pursuit of a more sustainable, inclusive, beautiful and peaceful future of our Europe”.

Cecilia Bartoli in the historic centre of Rimini, Italy. © Emanuele Scorcelletti.

On 20 May 2022, the General Assembly of Europa Nostra – the European Voice of Civil Society Committed to Cultural and Natural Heritage – has unanimously appointed Cecilia Bartoli, the world-renowned opera star, as the new President of the organisation, for an initial mandate of five years. Europa Nostra is the largest and most representative heritage network in Europe, collaborating closely with the European Union, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and other international bodies. Hermann Parzinger, Executive-President of Europa Nostra, who chaired today’s session of the General Assembly, conveyed the pride and joy of Europa Nostra’s membership towards the organisation’s new President. “We are so grateful for Cecilia Bartoli’s readiness to become our new President. We could not have found a better successor to our outgoing President,

Accepting her appointment, Cecilia Bartoli stated: “As a European citizen and someone who has dedicated most of my life to cultural heritage, I feel extremely privileged to have been appointed President of Europa Nostra, and accept this honour with greatest pride! I am also delighted to pursue the work of the previous President, Plácido Domingo. Let me stress that I fully subscribe to Europa Nostra’s claim that ‘cultural heritage is vital for our economy, our society, our culture, our environment, our well-being and for the future of Europe,’ and that we, as European citizens, ‘must take full responsibility for transmitting this heritage to future generations.’ I am looking forward to the coming years with Europa Nostra, its network and projects. It is an organisation which inspires me and enriches my work, and I am looking forward to contributing to the implementation of its objectives at the service of Europe’s invaluable heritage.” Learn more here.


Regional Cooperation Magazine

Contributors & Credits From the Fund Operators Mateusz Wiśniewski Francesca Bombarda Sara Barbi External Contributors Tom Mc Grath From the Projects Marieta Ivanova Inga Retike Ierotheos Zacharias Bálint Farkas Špela Kodre Aleksandra Kasztelewicz Diamanto Giannara Vaidotas Norkus Erika Zuodar Silvia Bernardo Maritsa Kissamitaki Director Gian Luca Bombarda

Cover Image: Credits © Florion Goga, EU Delegation to Albania, 2022

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. !37

Regional Cooperation Magazine

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