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Peer Learning for environmental authorities

With 28 country reports, the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) has mapped for each EU Member State the main challenges in the implementation of European environmental policy and legislation as well as existing good practices and points of excellence. Altogether, there is a huge potential for Member States' environmental authorities at all levels to improve their environmental performance by learning from each other.

In order to deploy this potential the European Commission established a new, practical tool that facilitates peer-to-peer learning between environmental authorities. Sufficient administrative capacity, in particular skills and expertise are necessary for ensuring good application of environmental law. The new TAIEX-EIR PEER 2 PEER programme provides tailored support to Member States' authorities implementing environmental policy and legislation. Their staff members can benefit directly from the experience of peers in other countries and regions.  Across Europe, there are thousands of public experts working in environmental authorities who possess a wealth of knowledge and invaluable know-how.TAIEX-EIRPEER 2 PEER helps to share good practice in environmental implementation and governance between Member States. It uses the well-established TAIEX instrument the Commission has been successfully applying for more than 20 years in enlargement and neighbourhood policy and, more recently, with assistance on cohesion policy through the TAIEX REGIO PEER 2 PEER programme.

Commissioner Karmenu Vella at the TAIEX-EIR P2P launch on 7 September 2017 in Brussels

For more information in 23 languages please have a look at the TAIEX-EIR PEER 2 PEER information leaflet here. Let us know if we should send you printed versions.

What kind of peer exchange is supported?

TAIEX-EIR PEER 2 PEER supports:

Expert Missions: experts from a EU Member State environmental authority visit an environmental authority in other Member States that have requested peer advice and exchange of experience on a specific topic. Expert missions can last between two to five days.

Study Visits: employees (maximum three) from a requesting environmental authority go on a working visit to other EU Member State institutions to learn from peers and exchange good practices. Study visits can last between two to five days.

Workshops: workshops with environmental authorities from one or several EU Member States (single or multi-country workshops) can be organized in a requesting institution. Workshops would normally last two days.

Depending on the purpose of the event the focus can be more on learning from a specific good practice example, a specific experience or knowledge or more on a mutual exchange of experience between environmental authorities on a particular implementation challenge.

What subjects can be addressed?

TAIEX-EIR PEER 2 PEER expert exchanges can address all issues covered by the EIR country reports: for example circular economy and waste management, nature protection, biodiversity, green infrastructure and soil protection, improvement of air quality, water quality and management, sustainable urban development. They can also deal with common root causes of implementation gaps, such as administrative capacity, skills, coordination mechanisms, access to justice, environmental liability, compliance assurance as well as reporting and sharing of environmental information or other aspects of environmental governance.

Past & upcoming events

Past and upcoming events are published in the TAIEX library under the keyword EIR

More information on events:

Further events with peer exchange between cities, regions and governments on waste and circular economy, a series of events on air pollution and the NEC Directive and more are in preparation.

What is financed?

TAIEX-EIR PEER 2 PEER finances

  • Travel, accommodation and a per diem for experts participating in expert missions or workshops. Additionally a flat daily allowance per working day can be paid to the expert or her/his employer.
  • Travel and accommodation for participants in study visits or multi-country workshops; for participants from the hosting country travel and accommodation is only financed when the distance between their residence and the venue of the workshop exceeds a certain minimum.
  • Working language is English. Interpretation can be financed if duly justified.
  • TAIEX-EIR PEER 2 PEER does not cover costs for the venue, catering or the printing of background material.

Who can submit a request?

The assistance is provided at request of public institutions involved in the implementation of EU environmental policy and law in the EU Member States, such as:

  • National, regional and local departments and agencies;
  • Coordinating authorities;
  • Inspection and audit authorities;
  • Permitting authorities;
  • Regional or local environmental implementation businesses entrusted with a public task, and with the application supported by an authority or
  • Networks of experts involved in environmental implementation and enforcement in cooperation with a Member State environmental authority.

How does it work in practice?

Applications can be submitted using the Online application.

Applications are easy to prepare. Applicants have to provide short information about the objective of the event, the field of expertise concerned, participants and target group, approximate timing and contact person. Details will be prepared later in close cooperation with the requesting institution. Please have a look at the short application template.

To know more about the process from application to evaluation check the overview.

Do you need assistance? Please contact ENV EIR ENV-EIR@ec.europa.eu

Share your expertise - register as a TAIEX expert

TAIEX-EIR PEER 2 PEER makes use of the existing extensive TAIEX expert database comprising many public experts who are well experienced in the area of environmental policies.

If you,

  • work for a central, regional or local Member State administration in one of the institutions responsible for management and implementation of EU environmental policy and law, at national, regional or local level - this may also be a company established by an authority, mandated to execute public tasks;

  • and are willing to share your knowledge and experience with peers from other EU Member States and engage in exchange of good practices, and your organisation allows you time for this;

please register through the TAIEX Expert Database, using the keyword TAIEX EIR P2P. After registration your account will show you all peer learning events where an expert with your profile could make a useful contribution.

Inspiring examples and ideas

To inspire authorities to submit a request for P2P support, the following documents with good practices may be useful:

Other instruments contributing to a better implementation of environmental law

  • Commission Action Plan on environmental compliance and governance, 18 January 2018 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/compliance_en.htm
  • TAIEX REGIO PEER 2 PEER is designed to share expertise between bodies that manage funding under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund. Projects also covered environmental policy areas.
  • The peer-to-peer support process between competent authorities concerning Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Floods Directive (FD) implementation. http://www.aquacoope.org/peertopeer/en/
  • The Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP) is an EU programme that provides tailor-made support to all EU countries for their institutional, administrative and growth-enhancing reforms. The SRSP support covers the entire reform process, from preparation and design to implementation of the reforms.

Cooperation with networks

Networks of environmental authorities and experts provide indispensable contributions to the exchange of knowledge and good practice in the implementation of environmental policy and legislation. TAIEX-EIR PEER 2 PEER can complement activities of these networks.

European practitioner networks:

European environmental inspectors, police officers, prosecutors, judges, auditors and heads of environmental protection agencies have formed separate networks to help them with their work. The networks enable knowledge, expertise and best practices to be shared. Please find a compilation of the most relevant networks at EU level here.

Of particular importance in this context is the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL), an international non-profit association of the environmental authorities of the European Union Member States, acceding and candidate countries of the EU, EEA and EFTA countries. The IMPEL Review Initiative Tool is a voluntary peer review where environmental authorities of IMPEL member countries help each other to improve the implementation of EU environmental law.

Associations of national, regional and local authorities promoting exchange of experience and good practice in environmental implementation are amongst others:

More information

  • TAIEX-EIR PEER 2 PEER Launch event (7 September 2017): All presentations
  • Event Peer Learning for Environmental Implementation, 22 January 2018: summary and presentations
  • Debate in the Commission's Green Week, 23 May 2018 "Green Cities for a greener future", session on Knowledge sharing and peer learning – enablers for the green city transition: https://www.eugreenweek.eu/.

Contact

You can send any comments, questions or information of relevance (such as reports, projects, etc.) to ENV-EIR@ec.europa.eu


 

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