Law, Enforcement and Compliance

The REC has made a long-term commitment to promote the rule of law through services in relation to environmental law development, implementation and enforcement. Through the European Union accession process and beyond, the REC facilitates the development, implementation and enforcement of domestic environmental law, mostly focusing on the transposition and implementation of the EU environmental acquis.

  • Team
  • Activities
  • Selected projects

The Law Compliance and Enforcement Topic Area has a unique programme approach:

Tailored: We use original and high-quality needs assessment approaches, methodologies and models, taking into account the real and specific needs of beneficiaries and clients.

Innovative: The services offered by the topic area are comprehensive and relate to every aspect of sound management and leadership in relation to governments, the European Commission, the private sector and non-governmental organisations.

Excellence-oriented: The topic area focuses on providing state-of-the-art legal services as well as on building the capacity of beneficiaries and clients, achieving visible changes and sustainable results.  

The mission of the topic area is:

  • To promote the reform of environmental law, the adoption of the EU environmental acquis, and the development of state-of-the-art legislation through legislative drafting assistance, targeted capacity-building workshops and the regional exchange of experience.
  • To promote the implementation and enforcement of and compliance with EU environmental legislation and to improve the capacity of enforcement agencies and inspectorates by continuous trainings and the exchange of experience and best practices with colleagues from EU member states.
  • To provide assistance in monitoring the implementation of EU environmental legislation and to offer practical recommendations via peer reviews, rating methodologies and benchmarking tools.
  • To provide services to the European Commission in establishing whether member states’ authorities have violated EC law. 
  • To assist in the formulation of a common strategic regional approach to the transposition and implementation of the environmental acquis through networking and facilitating regional cooperation, and through the Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network for Accession (ECENA) and the Environmental Approximation Legislation Network (ELAN).
  • To strengthen capacities to combat illegal logging in South East Europe and Ukraine.
  • To strengthen capacities to fight environmental crime by training advocates, prosecutors, judges and police officers to better detect and prosecute environmental crimes.

Sustainable development depends on good governance, good governance depends on the rule of law, and the rule of law depends on effective compliance and enforcement.

The REC’s Law/Compliance and Enforcement Topic Area supports the development of environmental legislation, as well as compliance and enforcement, including the tackling of environmental crime. 

We work towards the development of better environmental legislation using the following tools:

  • Assistance in environmental law drafting (tool description needed)
  • The exchange of experience and networking among beneficiary countries (tool description ELAN)
  • Progress monitoring of the transposition and implementation of the environmental acquis.

We provide capacity building in the implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation by:

  • The establishment and management of networks of environmental inspectors, permit writers, police officers and prosecutors.
  • The development and organisation of train-the-trainers programmes focused on the implementation of the EU environmental acquis.
  • The development of training manuals for environmental inspectors and permit writers.
  • The development of peer review methodology for assessing the progress of the implementation of EU legislation, as well as providing clear recommendations for improvement.

We provide state-of-the-art legal services, including:

  • Checking the conformity of national legislation with the EU environmental acquis.
  • The legal analysis of issued permits by checking their compliance with the relevant national and EU legislation (tool Cecile from BG cases with Arcaadis)

We facilitate cross-border cooperation by:

  • Facilitation between counties to better implement existing bilateral agreements (tool description from timok river)
  • Assisting countries in the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements ( tool description from AIMS)

We provide assistance in improving capacities to tackle environmental crime by:

  • The development of train-the-trainers programmes for judges, prosecutors, police officers and environmental inspectors, focused on the detection of cases of non-compliance, and the investigation and prosecution of environmental crime.
  • The development of training manuals.
  • Cooperation with Interpol and the facilitation of better cooperation between our beneficiaries and Interpol.

The team consists of permanently employed internationally experienced and recognised senior legal specialists and experienced project managers. The team is also strengthened by associated partners and experts, who are frequently involved in project implementation. Each team member possesses specialised knowledge and brings a network of renowned management and technical contacts.

Mihail Dimovski, senior legal expert with over 15 years of relevant experience in environmental legislation development and implementation, leads the topic area team.

Members of the topic area are:

  • Mihail Dimovski
  • Tsvetelina Borissova Filipova
  • Radoje Lausevic
  • Miriam Markus-Johansson
  • Bruno Mesquita
  • Cecile Monnier
  • Aniko Nemeth
  • Magdolna Szabo

In addition, we regularly draw on over 30 highly skilled associated experts and a large network of reputable consultancy companies.

Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network for Accession (ECENA)

The Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network for Accession (ECENA) is an informal network of environmental authorities from the EU candidate and potential candidate countries, as well as Bulgaria and Romania as new EU member states....

  • Balkan Environmental Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Network (BERCEN), EC CARDS Programme
  • Assistance in Environmental Law Drafting in South Eastern Europe, EC CARDS III Programme
  • Combatting Illegal Logging in South Eastern Europe
  • Implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements in South Eastern Europe
  • Crop and Food Biosecurity
  • Support to the Implementation of the Carpathian Convention
  • Establishment of the Timok River Forum
  • Training on Environmental and Energy Law for Officials from South Eastern Europe

More projects
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