The Western Balkans 6 Strategy Group, working under the auspices of the Heinrich Boll Stiftung, assesses the Open Balkans project as an enterprise that would adversely compete with the Berlin Process and, at the same time, lead regional integration towards an unacceptable and fragmented direction.
Recommendations and expectations for German and European policy.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has direct and significant implications for the Western Balkans. The lack of a consistent and convincing EU perspective and U.S. engagement in the region opened up space for other actors and scenarios aimed at recomposing the Western Balkans as well as promoted regressive tendencies throughout the region.
This report is a follow up to Heinrich Boll Stiftung’s 2019 report People on the Move in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018: Stuck in the corridors to the EU. In the first report, we covered the situation in BiH during 2018, and how it carried on in 2019. Since we wrote the report nothing much, but at the same time a lot has changed and happened with relation to the people on the move who have continued to come to the country to this day. Unlike previous years, the majority
of people arriving are from Afghanistan.
There is a great difference between a mere survival of the humankind and the preservation of quality of life. That is why the role of justice in the green transition goes far beyond the entitlement to a safe and healthy environment. The coming climate crisis takes place in a world characterized by a whole variety of injustices, which affect all human rights. These injustices will probably be exacerbated by the crisis, on one hand because of deteriorating conditions and on the other due to weakening of social security policies and measures against growing inequalities.
Therefore, our problem is twofold: to develop strategies and policies of a green transition to decarbonised manufacturing, agriculture, and transport; and to do it in a way which not only does not deepen injustices and inequalities but creates conditions for life with dignity for all. In other words, the fundamental change of human relation to nature should be accompanied by a similarly fundamental change in social relationships.
In its latest energy strategy, adopted at the beginning of 2020, North Macedonia projects complete coal and lignite phase out latest by 2040. The country has been praised as the first country from the Western Balkans to set such ambitious goals. In spite of its determination to move towards a green future in line with its EU accession process, the country continues struggling with air pollution, waste management issues, and inefficient energy market liberalization. The aim of the policy brief is to address these issues through an analysis of recent developments in energy transition of the country.
In addition, the brief offers solutions through democratization of the process of energy transition and reviews and maps out the potential for citizen energy.
The purpose of this study, divided in two main parts, is to first present an overview of the current energy policies and the progress of North Macedonia towards achieving the aims in the frame of its energy strategy; and secondly, to map out the local initiatives that have the potential of creating their own local energy communities. To map out the potential for creating sustainable energy communities, the study will in its first part provide an overview of the factors affecting the energy sector, the potential for renewable energy production and related policies.