Courses for Sustainable Development

Education and public awareness raising are indispensable for achieving sustainable development and improving capacities to address environmental issues.

The REC has developed an educational programme aimed at key senior government officials and business representatives, in partnership with academia, institutions and businesses. Since 2003, over 12 courses have taken place, targeted at Central and Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe, the Visegrad Four countries, the Black Sea region, Turkey, and Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region of the Russian Federation.

  • Team
  • Activities
  • Selected projects

  • To empower government officials and business representatives with tools for implementing sustainable policies aimed at environmental protection.
  • To establish a network for dialogue among government officials and representatives of the target countries in order to promote joint initiatives for the implementation of sustainable development policies.
  • To raise awareness by:
    - Increasing the resources allocated to environmental protection and rehabilitation.
    - Disseminating environmental information.
    - Strengthening the capacity of institutions at local level.
    - Promoting methodologies for harmonising economic, social and environmental policies.
  • To draw the attention of the private sector to the fact that short-term individual benefits and profit-oriented activities can have serious negative long-term impacts on the global environment.
  • To develop appropriate curricula and high-quality training materials for teaching the basic concepts of sustainable development.

The integration of sustainable development in policy making, planning and implementation remains a challenge. The courses therefore focus on analysing the three pillars of sustainable development, that is, its social, economic and environmental aspects. Methodologies are suggested that illustrate how economic growth can be accompanied by environmental protection and the enhancement of social objectives.

The overall direction of the programme is to raise awareness of the potential for integrating environmental concerns into policy making from the beginning, rather than dealing with the consequences of poor management. Participants are given the opportunity to exchange experiences during the discussions that follow the course lectures.

Course for Sustainable development

Courses targeted at government officials and representatives of the private sector and civil society from countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey. The main objective is to build the capacities of participants, enabling them to propose and implement sustainable policies in their region based on the main concepts of sustainable development. The methodology combines lectures delivered by international and local experts, case studies, working groups and site visits. The curricula include environmental issues, as well as topical social and political themes in the region.  

Sustainable Development Certificate Programme, Turkey

Courses aimed at actors from different industrial sectors, organisations and the business community. The objective is to facilitate the integration of economic, social and environmental concerns in core business processes by delivering a series of courses on corporate sustainability. The training modules cover the basic concepts of sustainable development, and the financing and implementation of corporate sustainability and the principles of the acquis communautaire. 

The courses are enriched by the contributions of guest lecturers from all over the world who are involved in global and local processes. The sharing of their vision and experience has been inspirational for course participants.

The team is headed by Stefania Romano, senior expert in sustainable development, who holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Central European University.

The teams’ internationally experienced members include:

  • Marta Szigeti Bonifert (mbonifert at Marta Szigeti Bonifert boasts a wide range of experience and a broad view of international environmental processes.
  • Radoje Lausevic (rlausevic at Radoje Lausevic is an expert in environmental practices and networking in the Balkan region.
  • Sibel Sezer (ssezer at Sibel Sezer participates in and leads a variety of Black Sea environmental programmes and Turkish business activities.
  • Srdjan Susic (ssusic at Srdjan Susic has specialist knowledge of local authority initiatives, with a specific focus on the SEE region.
  • Otto Szabo (oszabo at Otto Szabo has in-depth knowledge of the Central Asian and Russian political, economic and environmental context.

These experts are supported by a professional in-house team, as well as a network of skilled external experts.

For more information please contact Stefania Romano (Sromano at

  • Course for Local Sustainability and Action
  • Course for Sustainability, Alumni Conference
  • Course for Sustainability, Kazakhstan
  • Course for Sustainability, Black Sea Riparian Countries
  • Course for Sustainability, Russia
  • Course for Sustainability, Central and Eastern Europe

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Topic area publications

In Gear
April 2009 | Print

Course for Sustainability
September 2006 | Print

More publications