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Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment,
DG Environment and the European Committee of the Regions

What is the Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment?

The Technical Platform is a forum set up by the Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy at the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and DG ENV aimed at fostering dialogue on local and regional problems and solutions in the application of EU environment law. It was launched in 2012 with the following objectives:

  • to allow dialogue on implementation issues of mutual interest and exchange of best practices at a technical level;
  • to facilitate a cooperation between local and regional environmental administrations and DG ENV and the CoR's ENVE Commission;
  • to overall contribute to improvements in environmental outcomes;
  • to strengthen the cooperation between the CoR's ENVE commission and DG ENV;
  • to provide technical input to the work of the CoR's ENVE commission, thereby reinforcing an evidence-based approach in its ongoing work in this field.

How does the Technical Platform work? Who can participate?

The Technical Platform is mainly aimed at bringing together practitioners from local and regional administrations in the European Union, experts and stakeholders, EU officials as well as interested members of the CoR.

In practice, the work of the technical platform is carried out through meetings co-organised by CoR's ENVE Commission and DG ENV of the European Commission, in cooperation with relevant ad-hoc partners on issues of the agenda.

Up to two meetings of the Technical Platform are to be held each year on thematic issues of common interest. In 2017, the European Commission adopted an action plan for nature, people and the economy. In line with its Action 13, the European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission will co-organise 2-3 meetings per year of the Technical Platform, which will focus on the smart and effective implementation by local and regional authorities of the Birds and Habitats Directives.

Conferences and Events

15th meeting: The future of biodiversity in the hands of EU cities and regions (9 Oct 2019)

This interactive event discusses cities' and regions' contribution to the formulation and implementation of the post-2020 global and European biodiversity policy framework. Their potential for biodiversity action is not fully utilised at present, although it is increasingly recognised. The ongoing preparatory process for the post-2020 biodiversity agenda represents a major opportunity for local and regional authorities to shape future biodiversity targets and contribute to their delivery, as well as to having their efforts formally recognised by the Member States and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

More information (agenda, registration link, etc.) available at this link.

14th meeting: Enhancing Resilience of urban ecosystems through green infrastructure (29 Jan 2019)

This meeting presents the main scientific and policy outcomes of EnRoute project. It also provides a forum for policy makers and scientists to exchange ideas of how urban green infrastructure solutions can reconcile urban growth with objectives on biodiversity quality of life and public health, adaptation to climate change, among others. The expected outcome of the event is the identification of how local knowledge co-created by science and policy can be further developed as well as disseminated to improve the quality of European cities, and how can the EU best support this process.

More information (agenda, registration link, etc.) available at this link.

13th meeting: EU level Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services in the decision-making process (10 Oct 2018)

This session will present two upcoming Commission guidance documents on:

  • Strategic EU level green and blue infrastructure and
  • Integrating ecosystems and their services into decision-making.

The session will also highlight examples of EU level green and blue infrastructure, and tools to assist decision-makers from policy, business and society in mapping and assessing ecosystems and their services. Following the presentation of the upcoming guidance documents, participants will discuss in small groups key aspects and related follow-up needs and activities.

More information here.

12th meeting: Renewable energy developments and the EU Nature Legislation (19 Sep 2018)

The conference will present tools and smart approaches that could help local and regional authorities to meet their renewable energy objectives in compliance with the EU Nature Directives and in a sustainable way, without damaging high value nature areas and especially Natura 2000 sites. In particular, the aim is to present and discuss the two guidance documents recently issued by the European Commission, "The requirements for hydropower in relation to EU nature legislation" and "Energy transmission infrastructure and EU nature legislation". Relevant elements from the 2011 guidance document "Wind energy developments and Natura 2000", currently being updated, will also be presented.

More information (agenda, registration link, etc.) available at this link.

Information on previous Technical Platform meetings is available in this document.

11th meeting: Municipal and Regional Waste Management & Prevention (21 Nov 2017)

This seminar shared the experiences on key success factors to transition from a low recycling and high landfilling situation towards advanced management of municipal solid waste. The panel also discussed on organisational and economic challenges to introduce separate waste collection; as well as citizens' engagement as a key element in the successful implementation of separate waste collection.

Agenda available at this link.

10th meeting: Cities in transition - improving urban air quality (11 Oct 2017)

The 10th meeting took place on 11 October 2017 during the 2017 European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC). This workshop was co-organised with the European Environment Agency on 'Cities in transition - improving urban air quality. Launch of the EEA’s Air Quality in Europe 2017 report'.

Read the report here.

9th meeting: Nature protection in cross-border areas (10 Oct 2017)

The 9th meeting took place on 10 October 2017 as part of the 2017 European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC). The workshop, held at the European Committee of the Regions, was focused on 'Nature protection in cross-border areas'. This workshop is the first of the series of events co-organised with the European Commission under the Action Plan on the EU Nature Directives.

Agenda available at this link.

Information on previous Technical Platform meetings is available in this document.

Additional material

Local and regional authorities are crucial actors in environmental protection, as they are often responsible for rule-making and undertaking investments, and can have inspection and oversight functions. Local and regional authorities must, therefore, be considered as genuine partners within the governance structure underpinning the implementation of EU environment law and participate jointly with the other tiers of government in the formulation of EU policies, not least through the European Committee of the Regions.

The General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 "Living well, within the limits of our planet" (7th EAP), as decided by the European Parliament and the Council,gives a renewed impetus to implementation. The Technical Platform is explicitly referred to in point 59 of the 7th Environment Action Programme. This places it on a sound and long-term basis. The CoR and DG Environment services are currently exploring how to further enhance the platform on the basis of this reinforced mandate.

CoR Opinions