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18 May 2018

Infrastructure and nature: a topic that cannot be neglected!

Between 16 and 17 May 2018 a two day long event on the connections between nature and infrastructure was held in the Budapest Zoo with the co-organisation CEEweb for Biodiversity, the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme, the Hungarian IENE network, MTA-Ecological Research Centre, and Varangy Akciócsoport.

Hungarian researchers presented the newest findings on road ecology. Topics covered amongst others floristic researches on newly spreading plants in Europe from the West to the East (Cochlearia danica), invasive animal species showing up along roads (Drosophila suzukii), the long history of frog saving in Hungary, the elaboration of the green infrastructure strategy for Hungary, and environmental education in the Hungarian railway company (MÁV). CEEweb, represented by Elizabeth Óhegyi had the honor to moderate a session. The Hungarian session was followed by an international session with presenting the status quo of the TRANSGREEN project (WWF-DCP) and a newly developed roadkill registration system (Transport Research Centre, CDV, Czech Republic).

The Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention held the reconciliation of its Transport Working Group with the Ministry representatives of Romania, Slovakia and Poland. The future Action Plan for the Protocol on Sustainable Transport was discussed in detail and was supported by EURAC Research with a workshop, thus the first steps were made to elaborate such document, which, in the future, will hopefully not only be adopted but applied as well in European road construction processes.

TRANSGREEN project is supporting the above mentioned process. 10 partners and 10 associated partners from 8 countries (Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Poland, Slovenia) are working on pilot areas and collect experiences from the fields of concern until June 2019.

The meeting will be followed up in September 2018 in Bratislava, with the Mid-term event of the TRANSGREEN project together with the meeting of the Carpathian Convention Working Groups (biodiversity, transport and spatial planning).

We express our deepest gratitude for the Budapest Zoo for their generous and kind offer for providing the beautiful location and conference room.

 

15 May 2018

Sustainability in Europe conference

CEEweb organised a conference together with the Green Budget Europe and Green Cities under the auspices of People’s Budget on 15 May in Brussels.

High level speakers like European Commission’s Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, former Environmental Commissioner Janez Potocnik and MEPs spoke about the opportunities for making Europe sustainable and stepping up its efforts on fighting climate change. Klára Hajdu presented the European NGO position on the sustainability reform of the future EU budget also reflecting on the first proposal of the European Commission published earlier in the month.

The participants of the conference could also join the statement on mainstreaming sustainability pledges into the future EU budget on the spot.

2 May 2018

Commission proposes future EU budget

On 2 May the European Commission published its proposal for the future EU budget after 2020. Many NGOs are disappointed with the lack of ambition and call on Member States to turn this into the bold proposal that Europe needs for a brighter future.

While the Commission’s proposal mentions sustainability as one of the main principles of the future EU budget, the narrative and the outlined figures do not show a real commitment to sustainable development. A genuine sustainability reform would require equal considerations for social, environmental and economic aspects based on a set of sustainability principles, as it is also advocated by the People’s Budget campaign. However, the main focus on security and defence, the lack of reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, and the continued incoherent objectives are not in line with sustainable development.

The upcoming negotiations on the legal texts will be decisive how much the EU spending will promote sustainability in the next decade.

16 April 2018

Hungarian NGOs discuss the future EU budget

Every year Hungarian environmental organisations gather to discuss and agree on positions related to several thematic issues from biodiversity, through nuclear energy to environmental education. This year’s event took place in Kalotaszentkirály-Zentelke, located in Transylvania, Romania between 12-15 April.

A separate session focused on the future EU budget, where several recommendations of the European People’s Budget campaign were also raised and discussed. Hungarian NGOs agreed on a common position, which was adopted in plenary on the last day of the event.

Read the Hungarian NGOs’ position on the future EU Budget in Hungarian here.

 

11 April 2018

CEEweb presents TRANSGREEN on the Danube international seminar

CEEweb has been present on Danube Ecological Corridor international seminar on 28th of March 2018 in the Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary.

We presented our Green Infrastructure project: TRANSGREEN on one of the stands where participants of the event could learn about the project and CEEweb’s activities.

The seminar was co-organized by EU Strategy for the Danube Region Priority Area 6 (preserving biodiversity, landscapes and the quality of air and soils) and the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture.

The topics discussed during the event revolved around:

Trans-European Network for Green Infrastructure (TEN-G) – update from the EU commission on the work done already and plans ahead,

The intention of connecting protected areas in an Alpine-Danube-Carpathian ecological corridor (“ADC-NET”) – discussion on the current Interreg project tackling this topic and possibility of further development of this concept,

The intention for enhancing eco-tourism, establishing green jobs,

Possibilities of financing Green Infrastructure from the current financial structure.

Full agenda can be viewed here: http://greenfo.hu/uploads/programok/danube-ecological-corridor-programm.pdf

An article summarizing the event: http://eionet.kormany.hu/danube-ecological-corridor

10 April 2018

The Progressive Caucus meets civil society and also discusses a sustainable EU budget

On 10 April the Progressive Caucus -which represents MEPs from the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left in the European Parliament-, met again civil society representatives and discussed social, environmental, economic and governance issues with a view to a social transformation of Europe.

Under the name “Progressive Caucus Discusses with Civil Society: A New Scenario for Europe”, the event focused on summarizing those convergence points between the “Missing Scenario” -which had been elaborated by the Progressive Caucus’s Steering Committee, and since has been the subject of dialogue in a series of events- and the “Sixth Scenario: A Sustainable Europe for its Citizens”. The latter was prepared by the NGOs represented at the event -more than 250- and was presented at a previous Progressive Caucus’s event in December  2017.

One topic of the event was the sustainability reform of the future EU budget as proposed by the People’s Budget campaign, and how it can contribute to the sustainable development of Europe and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more about the event here.

 

 

5 April 2018

The EU Pollinators Initiative

European Habitats Forum, where CEEweb is a member, published a position on the EU Pollinators Initiative welcoming its launch by the European Commission.

The EU Pollinators Initiative should comprise both legally binding measures (e.g. changes to relevant EU acquis, for instance on pesticides) as well as voluntary elements (exchange of knowledge and best practices). The aim of the initiative should be to establish an integrated EU approach to tackle the decline of pollinators by raising its political profile, increasing the effectiveness of EU policies and evaluating potential EU policy gaps for pollinators. It is important to include the evaluation of potential EU policy gaps, as existing policies, even with higher effectiveness, might not be enough to fully address the decline of pollinators.
The pollinators initiative should as a priority include measures to 1) restore essential pollinators’ habitats and increase their connectivity in agricultural landscapes and; 2) address harmful subsidies and incentives in the Common Agriculture Policy and replace them with incentives for practices benefitting pollinators; 3) prevent the harmful impact of pesticides by ensuring their sustainable use, reviewing the pesticides approval process, and addressing the problem of abusive derogations and lack of transparency on the actual use of pesticides in the EU.

You can read the full position here: Position on The EU Pollinators Initiative, European Habitats Forum members, including CEEweb March 2018 (pdf)

27 March 2018

CEEweb on Easter break

CEEweb office is closed from 28th of March until 3rd of April for the Easter break.

We wish you a pleasant rest.

21 March 2018

European stakeholders ask for a sustainability reform of the EU budget

On 20 March the MFF subgroup of the high-level Multi-stakeholder Platform, which was set up to advise the Commission on the future EU budget with a view to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, handed over their recommendations to First Vice-President Timmermans. This short and ambitious report, which reflects the opinion of CSOs from various fields, trade unions, businesses, academic institutions and individual experts, provides innovative, but still efficient measures so that the future EU budget better delivers. The report also extensively builds on the recommendations by the European People’s Budget campaign, which calls for sustainability proofing the EU budget.

Klára Hajdu, co-leader of the People’s Budget campaign also participated in the work of the MFF subgroup as an expert on behalf of SDG Watch Europe.

 

28 February 2018

Smart and Green cities: exciting brochures in 5 languages!

CEEweb’s Smart and Green – the future of Visegrad cities project comes to an end in March 2018. For celebrating the successful project implementation CEEweb together with Association for Garden Design and Landscaping from Slovakia, the Czech Landscape Gardening Association and the Polish Green Roof Association are publishing a brochure in 5 languages giving an insight into smart and green innovations in cities such as Bratislava, Budapest, Písek and Wrocław : click here to read the brochures (Smart and Green cities – 2018).

The project is not only a success because of its interesting results, but also because of the 4 partners who enjoyed working together in a really harmonized way, and are looking forward to collaborate in future projects.

The project findings are based on national researches on Smart and Green Innovations in the four countries (Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland) and interviews conducted with national smart city experts, government representatives, landscape architects, and smart city innovators themselves.

 

 

The longer summary publication can be acquired here.

The project was funded by the International Visegrad Fund.

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