The first environmental expertise exchange financed through the TAIEX-EIR Peer 2 Peer tool is taking place on 22-24 January. Following the request of Romanian authorities, the Commission has identified Irish experts to advise their Romanian counterparts.
More peer learning projects with other EU countries, regions and cities on a broad range of environmental implementation challenges are in the pipeline.
Irish experts will share their waste management experience with the Ministry of Environment and in a workshop with a broader range of participants from the National Environmental Protection Agency, National Environmental Guards, and County Councils. This expert mission will transfer knowledge on how to overcome legal and financial hurdles for properly closing down landfills and ensuring sufficient after-care. It will provide advice on how to strategically approach the challenge of closing a substantial number of landfills and how to practically manage this process.
Proper implementation of EU waste rules and setting up an effective governance structure was identified as a priority for Romania in the Environmental Implementation Review. Recycling rates in Romania are among the lowest in the EU and most municipal waste is still landfilled. Many non-compliant landfills are still operating across the country. In 2017, the Commission took Romania to the European Court of Justice for its failure to close and rehabilitate 68 illegal landfills, which represent a serious risk for human health and the environment.
The Republic of Ireland faced similar implementation challenges 15 years ago. After the EU Court ruling in 2005, the Irish government set up and implemented a strategic plan to upgrade its waste management, established efficient structures and coordinated action. Now, Irish experts will share their experience with their Romanian counterparts.
Environmental Implementation Review (EIR)
With the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) the European Commission has launched a new tool to help Member States apply EU rules and policies. The EIR package includes 28 country reports, which map national strengths and weaknesses and suggest actions for improvement.
TAIEX-EIR Peer 2 Peer
To support national, regional and local authorities in the EU countries the European Commission facilitates peer-to-peer learning between environmental authorities. Launched in September 2017 and managed in cooperation between DG ENV and DG NEAR, the TAIEX-EIR PEER 2 PEER is a demand-driven programme: any national, regional or local authority looking for advice and guidance on good implementation practice and governance can make a request.
Other peer-to-peer learning exchanges planned are:
- a workshop in Ireland with cities from 8 EU countries for mutual peer exchange on urban waste management and innovative waste prevention and education,
- a workshop with 6 Mediterranean countries which would like to learn from Scandinavian experts how to organize cross-country cooperation in monitoring the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation,
- a workshop with several European regions on practical steps to fight air pollution.
Source: EC Environment