Within the project EU4 Energy Transition: Covenant of Mayors in the Western Balkans and Türkiye, co-funded by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the Western Balkans and by the Central Project Management Agency (CPMA) in Türkiye, a one-day workshop entitled Multi-Level Governance was organised 13 July 2023 in Belgrade, Serbia. The aim of the workshop, organised by the Open Regional Fund for South East Europe – Energy, Transport and Climate Protection, is to strengthen the role of local stakeholders in the process of energy transition, planning and implementing measures to mitigate climate change and adapt to new climate conditions.
On behalf of the City of Belgrade, the workshop was opened by Dušan Rakić, City Secretary for Energy. Rakić noted that the City of Belgrade will propose to private investors the project of public-private partnership (PPP) of the most modern green plant for heating and cooling of the entire future EXPO complex in Surčin and that the central part of the plant will be based on the system of heat pumps and green solar power plants.
Multi-level governance (MLG) involves the way in which obligations and responsibilities are distributed vertically between different levels of government and horizontally between governmental and non-governmental organisations and stakeholders. A multi-level approach and integrated policy planning processes will enable improved and realistic planning, as well as more efficient processes of their implementation in the Western Balkan countries. The activities under this project will also directly support the establishment of a link between the national level and national planning instruments in the field of energy and climate change and local planning instruments in the field of climate and energy.
Sandra Dokić, State Secretary at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, spoke about the National Adaptation Plan, nationally determined contribution and relevant elements for different levels of governance in Serbia.
– From the aspect of climate change, the Republic of Serbia has adopted the Low Carbon Development Strategy, which implies that by 2030 greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 33.3 percent compared to 1990. At the same time, we are completing the programme of adaptation to changing climate conditions, which covers all sectors, and is based on the collected data, we realised that the agricultural sector is mostly affected by climate change. That is why, within this programme, we have created an extremely important tool Digital Climate Atlas, which is publicly available to everyone and in which there are data for each local self-government unit on climate change since 1951. This information system is invaluable for future adaptation planning, because we all have to be aware of the fact that we have to adapt in order to survive – said Dokic.
Dubravka Bošnjak, Regional Project Manager at GIZ, spoke about the current situation and further steps in the process of mitigating and adapting to climate change within the EU4 Energy Transition: Covenant of Mayors in the Western Balkans and Türkiye project. Bošnjak pointed out on this occasion that an effective multi-level governance model includes a number of cooperation mechanisms to ensure that key actors have a voice in the issues that are most important to them in the energy and climate sectors.
The aim of the workshop was to open a dialogue on this topic, and in the next steps, together with important actors, the project will continue discussions on how communication mechanisms work and whether there is room for improvement, especially considering the role of local self-government in ongoing processes at the state level (e.g. participation of the local level in the process of development and subsequent implementation of the Integrated Energy and Climate Plan for Serbia). It is important to note that several cities in Serbia are developing Sustainable Energy and Climate Plans (in line with the Covenant of Mayors Europe initiative), and that the link between Sustainable Energy and Climate Plans and National Energy and Climate Plans would be crucial for the subsequent implementation of both plans.
About the project:
EU4 Energy Transition Project: Covenant of Mayors in the Western Balkans and Türkiye project addresses climate change and supports the energy transition in the Western Balkans and Türkiye, in particular through the promotion of the initiative Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in the region, as well as by supporting local authorities to turn their ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into reality and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change, while taking into account local diversity. Within this project, local self-governments are empowered to participate in multi-level governance related to the development and implementation of energy and climate policy. The project is co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMZ). In the Western Balkans, the project is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH as part of the Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Energy, Transport and Climate Protection. In Türkiye, the project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Central Project Management Agency (CPMA).