Implementation of Aarhus Convention, PRTR Protocol and Related EU Directives

The topic area supports the practical implementation of the UNECE Convention on Public Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the so-called Aarhus Convention), and of the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Protocol and related EU directives.

  • Team
  • Activities
  • Selected projects

Activities are built on significant expertise gained during the past 15 years of drafting, ratification and putting into practice these international legal instruments. We provide assistance for EU member states, Turkey, SEE and EECCA countries, including:

  • Support to selected parties and other countries implementing the Aarhus Convention through legal and policy analysis and assistance to various stakeholders focusing on problematic areas identified as gaps or difficulties.
  • The development and implementation of capacity-building programmes for officials and NGOs in applying public participation in environmental decision making at regional and local levels and integrating it in different fields such as water management and the implementation of the Water Framework Directive; climate change; nuclear and other energy issues; local environmental action plans; sustainable consumption and production; Natura 2000; waste management etc. Capacity-building programmes are also developed for judges, prosecutors, ministry officials, and NGOs in understanding and implementing the access to justice pillar of the Aarhus Convention, related EU directives and national legislation.
  • Assistance to environmental agencies in setting up and operating PRTR systems in line with the PRTR Protocol and the EU’s E-PRTR requirements, as well as in preparations for the ratification of the PRTR Protocol, and in building the awareness and understanding of operators and NGOs about their roles and responsibilities and the benefits of the process.

The services provided by the topic area include:

  • Assessment of progress in the implementation of the Aarhus Convention and the PRTR Protocol at national and regional level.
  • Development of strategies, action plans and assistance in institutional development and practical application to support the implementation of the Aarhus Convention, the PRTR Protocol and the E-PRTR Regulation.
  • Design and implementation of capacity-building programmes on public access to information, public participation in decision making (including public participation in EIA, SEA, IPPC, WFD, E-PRTR/PRTR) and access to justice in environmental matters including the development and delivery of training programmes; workshops for officials, NGOs and businesses at national and local level; pilot projects at community level; and the development of guides and manuals.
  • Facilitation of stakeholder involvement and dialogue through roundtable meetings and  workshops enabling NGOs and other stakeholders to provide input to decision making on environmental policy and drafting legislation.
  • Assistance in the use of electronic tools to support the implementation of the Aarhus Convention’s three pillars via assessments, comparative analyses, best practice examples and trainings.
  • Dissemination of information, promotion of best practices and awareness-raising activities through web-based tools, events, publications and networking.
  • Development, management and implementation of projects in cooperation with government, NGO and other partners on the implementation and ratification of the Aarhus Convention, the PRTR Protocol and related EU directives in new EU member states, SEE and EECCA countries. 

The team consists of internationally experienced experts with different backgrounds, expertise and experience in the field of public participation; stakeholder involvement; facilitation, training and mediation; good governance and related environmental legal and policy issues; and civil society support. The team has access to an extensive international and CEE network of government, NGO and other experts and cooperates with a wide range of organisations and institutions in Europe.

Our main experts include:

  • Magda Toth Nagy 
  • Kaidi Tingas 
  • Orsolya Szalasi 
  • Milena Marega 
  • Mihallaq Qirjo 
  • Anne Kivikukk 
  • Irena Brnada 
  • Jasna Draganic
  • Viktor Bjelic 
  • Katarina Stojkovska 
  • Kornelija Radovanovic 
  • Jovan Pavlovic 
  • Jovanka Ignjatovic 
  • Lucian Ionescu 
  • Magda Chitu Burlacu 
  • Srna Sudar Vilotic 
  • Mira Puric 
  • Zeqir Veselaj 

The team is headed by Magdolna Toth Nagy, an internationally recognised senior expert on public participation, good governance, civil society, environmental policy and sustainable development. She holds an M.Sc. in economics and a doctorate in international economic sciences and has almost 20 years’ experience in the field, during which she has built up the REC’s public participation expertise, team and programme.

  • Drasviaty Lake International Cooperation
  • Enhancing Access to Information and Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making: Danube Regional Project
  • Environmental Information, Education and Public Awareness in Newly Independent States
  • Facilitation of Public Consultation Meetings of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the Revised Social and Environmental Policy and Public Information Policy
  • Improving Public Participation: Next Steps in Implementing the Aarhus Convention in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia
  • Preparation of a Synthesis Report on the Implementation of the Aarhus Convention
  • Promoting Environmental Mediation as a Tool for Public Participation and Conflict Resolution
  • Promoting the Replication of Good Practices in Nutrient Reduction in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Stakeholder Involvement in the Sustainable Development of the Sava River Basin
  • Supporting the Development of Strategies for the Implementation of the Aarhus Convention

More projects
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