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No.2
Connecting The Region

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Branimir Jovanović, Economist at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw)

Enabling Green Transition in the Balkans

It’s easy to feel despondent when thinking about the green transition in the Balkans. The energy required to generate one dollar of GDP is significantly higher here than in EU countries—for instance, Serbia’s energy consumption is nearly double that of Austria’s. The situation...

Exclusive interview

Jakov Milatović, President of Montenegro

Montenegro to Join the EU by 2028

Interviews

Leena Ylä-Mononen, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency

Shared Values and Commitment

We strongly believe that building our cooperation with Western Balkan partners in the years ahead will bring additional value to the EEA and its network, and to our partner countries The European Environment Agency sees cooperation with our partners from the Western Balkans as...

Majlinda Bregu, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council

Huge Potential for Collaboration

Despite facing challenges, the Western Balkan region must commit itself steadfastly to the green transition, as backtracking isn’t sustainable when it comes to energy security or environmental wellbeing A thorough understanding of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans (GAWB), which is akin to...

Countries Overview

Albania

Committed to the Struggle for a Green Future

On the one hand, the country almost exclusively uses hydropower and virtually no gas, yet it has no recycling programmes whatsoever. It has the fewest cars per capita in Europe, while at the same time needs to exert efforts to encourage citizens to...

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Clean Air is the Main Goal

The awareness of the population has since evolved significantly, although the people still fail to recognise most of the benefits of energy efficiency, primarily due to the low price of dirty energy, low living standards and a lack of incentives and adequate legislation....

Croatia

Implementing All EU Directives Consistently

In following EU directives, Croatia tailored its development strategies to the principles of sustainability, while also placing an emphasis on tangible measures with which it will achieve the goals of increasing energy sustainability and use of renewable energy sources, as well as decarbonising...

Kosovo*

Pioneering the Use of Solar Energy for Heating

Kosovo’s aspiration to apply ESG pillars, despite being at an early stage, is considered a strategically sound decision, because respecting these principles brings additional investment, environmental and social progress and an enhanced global reputation. Apart from the implementation of ESG principles helping Kosovo...

Montenegro

Respecting ESG Standards Accelerates EU Accession

Pursuing the Green Agenda is among Montenegro’s priorities in the EU accession process, because the state leadership believes sincerely that implementing standards related to environmental protection, social responsibility and governance is key to long-term economic stability and prosperity. The Government of Montenegro’s position...

North Macedonia

Supporting Investments in Renewables

It was with this in mind that it adopted the National Sustainable Development Strategy in 2020, the aim of which is to promote social, economic and environmental sustainability. The strategy includes targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the share of renewable energy...

Slovenia

Targeting the Doubling of Solar Power Production

The Climate Strategy envisages Slovenia becoming a society based on sustainable development by 2050, which is why it is striving to efficiently manage energy and natural resources, while maintaining a high level of competitiveness with a circular economy. It places a focus is...

Serbia

Investing in the Future of Green Hydrogen

Serbian public interest in topics related to the environment and climate change has been on the rise in recent years, a positive contribution to which has been provided by the EU for the Green Agenda in Serbia project, which is being implemented by...

Interviews

Bojan Kumer, Slovenian Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy

Very Clear Tasks

The Western Balkan countries need to step up their decarbonisation measures through the increasing of their interconnectedness, the diversifying of energy sources and the aligning of their national legislations with the EU acquis In this short interview, Slovenian Environment, Climate and Energy Minister Bojan...

Dubravka Đedović Handanović, Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy

We Can’t Do Without European Support

As they navigate the energy transition process, EU member states have been able to count on generous financial support from the EU. And our region requires that same kind of support Acountry’s green energy transition success depends on its ability to replace fossil fuels...

Kreshnik Bekteshi, North Macedonian Economy Minister

Smoother Transition to the Green Agenda

The region, including North Macedonia, is actively pursuing ambitious energy transition plans and is striving to attract investments to bolster these projects Decarbonisation is at the heart of the EU policies, aligned with the bloc’s commitment to climate action under the Paris Agreement. North...

Nik Gjeloshaj, Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister of Economic Policy

Committed to a Green Future

The Government of Montenegro is strongly committed to advancing the green transition, developing policies and programmes, as well as enhancing administrative capacities for the implementation of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans Montenegro is fully committed to implementing the Western Balkan Growth Plan,...

Biljana Braithwaite, Founder of the ESG Adria Summit

Responsible Governance is Crucial

The European Union’s six-billion-euro Growth Plan for the Western Balkans holds immense potential for the region, possibly doubling its economy over the next decade and fostering closer economic ties with the EU. Economic convergence is crucial to the Western Balkans advancing along the...

Damir Habijan, Croatian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development

Staunch Supporter of the Green Deal

Croatia is dedicated to the European Green Deal and is striving to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, having made substantial decarbonisation efforts in the energy sector and economy over recent years In Croatia’s transition to climate neutrality, certain sectors will have to make more...

Vedran Lakić, Minister of Energy, Mining and Industry of the Federation of BiH

Political and Cultural Shift

Three recently adopted laws that regulate the energy field in a comprehensive way represent a significant advance in the green transition of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in promoting environmentally sustainable technology Like other countries in transition, the Federation of Bosnia and...

Driant Zeneli, Albanian visual artist

Still Waiting to Join Europe

In today’s globalised yet divided world, art has also changed, as has the attitude toward the notion of nation, with many artists and intellectuals having questioned the concept of nation states ~ Driant Zeneli In his oeuvre to date, Driant Zeneli has utilised various...

Feature

Rok Capl, Director, SPIRIT Slovenia

Hard Work and Excellence

In the domain of green transition, business development agency SPIRIT Slovenia possesses invaluable knowledge and practices that have been honed over decades of fostering business development. In 2016, the agency began implementing the Strategic Sustainable Transformation Programme for Slovenian companies, which established the...

Aleksandar Kovačević, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES)

Pacta Sunt Servanda!

In Vienna on 14th December 2023, the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community concluded: “The Ministerial Council expressed its serious concern over continued noncompliance with the Large Combustion Plants Directive and the Industrial Emissions Directive in several Contracting Parties. Significant levels of air...

Aleksandar Ljubić, Executive Director of the Foreign Investors Council of Serbia

ESG Principles Are Vital

In its activities to date, FIC Serbia has focused to a large extent on digitalisation, responsible business operations, the essential requirements of the green transition of the Serbian economy and the implementation of a circular economy. These topics are not in the focus...

Viktor Mizo, President of the Foreign Investors Council of North Macedonia

Positive Momentum for Green Transition

In the dynamic landscape of the North Macedonian economy, the country’s Foreign Investors Council (FIC NM) is a pivotal force in driving economic growth and development. This robust community, comprising over 130 esteemed member companies hailing from 20 countries, plays a significant role...

Arijana Nikolić Vučinić, Executive Director of the Montenegrin Foreign Investors Council

Utilising Vital Green Expertise

For more than 15 years, the dedicated efforts of the Montenegrin Foreign Investors Council have served to significantly advance the business environment in Montenegro, establishing MFIC as a pivotal link between foreign investors and national decision-makers, but also extending its influence beyond those...

Emrush Ujkani, Executive Director of the European Investors Council (EIC)

Leaders of Sustainable Finance Practices

As a collective voice for the largest European investors in Kosovo’s private sector, the European Investors Council (EIC) is proud of the tangible contributions its members make to creating a greener Kosovo, says EIC Executive Director Emrush Ujkani. Among the most valuable contributions...

Tomislav Šlat, Secretary General of the Foreign Investors Council of Croatia

Leap Forward Required

In today’s global economic environment, communication and cooperation between the private sector and the public administration within countries is becoming more important by the day. While public administration should focus on creating a positive investment climate to attract domestic and foreign investors, private...

Sanja Miovčić, Executive Director of FIC Bosnia and Herzegovina

Empowering the Communities in Which we Operate

The Foreign Investors Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina is determined to support all initiatives linked to the transition to green energy, the circular economy and sustainability in a broader sense. Given that the majority of our member companies come from EU countries, their...

Opinion

By Novica Mihajlović, Journalist

The Green Deal is a Big Deal

The number of climate change sceptics has fallen dramatically over the last year. Last August saw large swathes of Slovenia devastated by catastrophic floods, with swollen rivers and streams sweeping away and destroying thousands of homes in just a few hours, as well...

By Dragan Županjevac

Running Late, but Catching Up

Global climate change, together with pollution and biodiversity loss, forms part of the planetary triple crisis, as defined by the United Nations Environment Assembly, that represents a serious and daunting challenge for the future of humanity. Like the whole of Europe, climate change...

By Dejan Azeski, Jurnalist

“Greening” Without Enthusiasm

Certain progress has been achieved over the past two years when it comes to advancing the Green Agenda in North Macedonia, as is particularly evident in the growing presence of solar panels, but numerous areas still require improvement. Notably, the North Macedonian parliament...

By Željka Radulović, Journalist

Much Talk, Few “Green” Policies

A whopping 32 and a half years have elapsed since Montenegro was first declared an ecological state. And yet, just like that first day, the reality differs from resounding goals and promises. Declaratively, the world’s first ecological state was supposed to adopt and...

By Luan Hasanaj, Environmentalist

Civic Engagement and Institutional Responsibility

As one of the biggest environmental issues confronting Kosovo, environmental pollution not only demands immediate attention, but also cooperation among all those involved in the development and implementation of suitable solutions. Specifically, the issue of air, water and land pollution demands urgent action,...

By Adriano Milovan, Journalist

Carelessness is Costly

It was almost 15 years ago that a huge dump appeared suddenly in the vicinity of the village of Biljani Donji near Croatia’s fifth largest city of Zadar. The “Black hill”, as it was dubbed by locals and environmental activists, very quickly became...

By Armin Zeba, Journalist

Chimney in the Lungs

According to research conducted by the World Health Organization and other institutions of global importance, Bosnia & Herzegovina is Europe’s most polluted country, while its capital city of Sarajevo is among the world’s five worst cities when it comes to air quality, with...

By Geri Kolgega, Journalist

Rivers don’t Forgive

When it emerged from the challenging communist era back in 1991, Albania set its sights on Western democracy and a future aligned with Europe. Despite initially overlooking environmental concerns during the early EU transition period, increased awareness has been evident since 2006. The...

Corporate

Nemanja Drobnjak, COO of CBS International

Expanding Real Estate’s Golden Age

As a regional leader in the real estate sector, CBS International has been strengthening its presence in Central Europe since last October’s opening of its office in Austria, but this is just one step in the expansion of its business. Here company COO...

Bussines Pulse

HENKEL

Longstanding Regional Business Practices

Henkel has been present in our region for decades, with operations in Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. It has production sites in Kruševac, Maribor, Inđija and Bileća, while its administrative centres are in Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Sarajevo. Henkel is a...

Nicolas Marquier, Regional Manager for the Western Balkans at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)

ESG also Vital for Banking

As part of the upcoming ESG Adria Summit, the IFC is organising a capacity building event for banking associations from the Western Balkans intended to help deepen their knowledge of ESG and sustainable finance, and here the IFC’s Nicolas Marquier explains why ESG...

Ivan Bulatović, CEO, Electric Power Company of Montenegro

Focus on Capital Projects

Here we discuss planned investments, the construction of new energy facilities that are primarily based on renewables, the modernisation of existing production facilities, and the company’s development vision and plans with Ivan Bulatović, new CEO of Electric Power Company of Montenegro. We congratulate...

Milica Obrenović, Senior Specialist for Operational Risk and Internal Control at Addiko Bank

ESG Strategy Implemented Consistently

The concept of sustainable operations should penetrate all structures of a company, which in the case of Addiko Bank is confirmed by initiatives which relate, to a lesser or greater extent, in a direct or indirect way, to all employees, our cooperation with...

Petr Hermann, President of the Schneider Electric cluster for Southeast Europe

Making an Impact

We discussed digitalisation and the modernisation of energy infrastructure, software being developed by the company’s Serbian team in Novi Sad, the building of the future and many new solutions with Petr Hermann, president of the Schneider Electric cluster for Southeast Europe Do you...

Avolta

The Store of the Future

Having successfully operated the duty-free stores in the airport since 2006, new contract signifies more than just the extension of a business agreement; it symbolizes strengthening Avolta’s presence in Eastern Europe. Avolta is delighted to announce the win of a new seven-year concession...

ElcomBGD

Smart Traffic Solutions for Client Full Satisfaction

From the Belgrade Waterfront to Kotor “on the water”, ElcomBgd implements effective solutions of adaptive traffic management that prove successful at easing and quickly overcoming critical traffic conditions during temporary shortages of traffic network capacity. A high level of congestion on urban networks...

Chad Blewitt, Acting Managing Director of Rio Tinto’s Jadar Project

Mining’s Role in Europe’s Sustainable Future

Chad Blewitt is the acting managing director of Rio Tinto’s Jadar Project, which is regarded as being among the most significant lithium deposits in Europe. The Serbia Government cancelled the project’s permits in January 2022, in response to protests in Belgrade over environmental...