Engaging Political Parties, Trade Unions and Activists for Socio-Environmental Change

FES Regional Dialogue SOE launched in October 2020 a new, 8-month program titled “Engaging Political Parties, Trade Unions, and Activists for Socio-Environmental Change” (EPP TU). The energy transition is a difficult, time consuming, yet also pressing issue of our time. The complexities of this issue rise if the main actors lack the necessary knowledge related to these processes. This program aims to address these challenges by enabling young political party members, trade unionists and activists to advocate and argue for a just energy transition in the Southeast European region.

EPP TU offers a variety of educational content, from brief online lectures, to more interactive workshops and trainings. The transfer of knowledge focuses on the policy-making process, including policy-rationales and different stakeholders. While the first portion of the program will be held online until May 2021, we aim to invite participants of the program to an onsite week-long camp for an extensive energy transition and climate change training and networking, if the conditions allow for it.

EPP TU Study Sessions

Why did we create this project?

Wrapping it up with climate diplomacy

The last session in the program came by quickly, at least for us. The passed 7 online sessions went great, so we tried to make sure to end on a high note, the diplomatic one! In the anticipation of COP26 later this year, in our last session on in May, we talked about climate diplomacy, a new, but very dynamic concept. By it´s nature, climate diplomacy focuses on preventive action, and is split across several strands on the political level, including implementation of the Paris Agreement, relations between climate change and peace and security, cooperation, advocacy, at least according to the EU frameworks. For this one, we had the pleasure to host Dr. Benjamin Pohl, Head of Programme for Climate and Security at Adelphi, who shared with us the bits and bolts of climate diplomacy, and climate security challenges in SEE region, namely hotspots around river basins, mountain and mining areas.

Adelphi is a leading think-thank and public policy consultancy on climate, environment and development.

From NIMBY to PIMBY and the importance of compelling narratives

With the finish line in sight, our session in April focused on importance of compelling narratives. How do we go from “not in my back yard” attitudes toward renewable energy infrastructure to “please in my back yard”? We spoke about energy journalism and how the use of entry points like air pollution and climate change, fosters the creation of such narratives, and can energy journalism alone ensure them? As always, an interesting topic called for an interesting speaker, and this time it Sven Egenter, Clean Energy WIRE (CLEW), who joined us. CLEW is an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan service provider of Journalism for Energy Transition. For this session we also invited aspiring energy journalists to join us online.

EPPTU with CROSSBOW (Horizon 2020)

In March, we were super excited to host the CROSSBOW Project (Horizon 2020) in our EPP TU program. CROSSBOW is a project funded by the EC and led by ETRA GROUP. The consortium is made up of 24 different organizations from 13 different countries! Its goal is to take innovative action and generate proposals for shared resources and foster cross-border management of various renewables. The benefits envisioned by the project include enhanced regional cooperation in Southeastern Europe, which is why the project includes not only system operators from SEE but also tech companies and universities in the region. Apart from increased regional cooperation, the project also tackles new challenges related to energy systems' fast digitalization in energy transition efforts.

Lobbying at its best: The case of German Coal Commission

On February 25th we discussed the successful lobbying case of the German Coal Commission. How did Germans come up with a coal-phase out plan in 6 months, who argued for what, are the TUs ok with this plan? Answers to these and many more questions were delivered by the people who participated. Patrizia Kraft, Energy Policy Coordinator at German’s Trade Unions Confederation (DGB), and Philipp Litz, Project Lead International Coal Transition, Agora Energiewende shared their first-hand experience. The talk emphasized the human-to-human approach. By highlighting social sensitivities, lost social identity and even feelings of betrayal the study session showed that these feelings are universal and are a shared experience. Another key point in the conversation was the very beginning of the transition: how it all started with the activists, translated to the political parties, and then businesses and trade unions, much like we are doing with this project!

 

Lobbies: the old, the new, and other types of influence energy transition and climate change policymaking

For our January session, we picked a  topic that  is an important instrument for any stakeholder - lobbies: the old, the new, and all the other types that influence energy transition and climate change policymaking. For our first session in 2021, we hosted Pascoe Sabido from Corporate Europe Observatory, a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy-making.

EU Green Deal and its external dimension

Here is a quick wrap up of our topic for December study session. For our topic in this one, we chose to discuss the external dimension of the European Green Deal, as an opportunity or a burden for the Western Balkans. Our speaker for this session was Lisa Fischer, Senior Policy Advisor at E3G. She leads E3G’s efforts to drive the complex changes needed across regulation, infrastructure and finance needed for deep decarbonization of the energy system.For the EU Green Deal first year anniversary, we looked into its external dimension: Fossil Gas and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, specifically, what does that mean for this region.  We were really happy that some of our participants outside the WB region were interested in the topic as well and joined us and participated in the discussion.

Relying on science. Climate change scenarios as an instrument in policymaking

Our second session in the program was in November. This time around we discussed the role of science in just socio-ecological transformation. How can climate change scenarios be used as an instrument in policymaking? For our guest speaker in this session, we invited Thomas Hirsch, Executive Director at Climate and Development Advice, Germany. We were surprised that some countries insisted not to use the IPCC scenarios as the scientific basis of the Paris Agreement. On the other hand, lobbying is quite a prominent feature in energy/climate change matters that it should not be a surprise, so we decided to integrate a session fully dedicated to subtle and not so subtle lobbying activities at a later date in this program.

Europe’s quest for climate neutrality: Online Study Session

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Regional Dialogue Southeast Europe launched a brand new program aimed towards engaging different actors in socio-ecological transformation in the Western Balkans. We kicked off our 8 months program with a study session in October. For this one, we discussed how Europe’s technological (un)development shaped the political and economic plans for the block’s climate neutrality. For our guest speaker in this session, we invited Sonja Risteska, Project Manager for Southeast Europe at Agora Energiewende.

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30.09.2021 | Social Democratic Politics and Values, News, EPP TU Related Work, Event

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FES SOE PEET – Political Economy of Energy Transition in Southeast Europe

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Dialogue Southeast Europe presents a first-of-its-kind political economy analysis, calling attention to main barriers in achieving environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable energy transition in Southeast Europe.


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ConFESsions Podcast Episode 5: Vjeran Piršić (Eko Kvarner)

Episode 5 brings a first-hand account from Vjeran Piršić, who is, as our host Hana has put it, so many things in one: a mathematician, an information scientist, and by personal and long-term endeavors - an activist. In this episode, not only do we take into account the environmental Vjeran's and Eko Kvarner's activism, but Vjeran also brings to the fore the dimension of activism in an EU Member State.


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ConFESsions Podcast Episode 4: Nina Pantović (Organizacija KOD)

Episode 4 of ConFESsions Podcast is here! In our July edition, we moved to Montenegro, and our reporter had an interesting talk with Nina Pantović. Nina works with NGO Organizacija KOD, and she talked about the current state of arts when it comes to Montenegro living up to its proclamation of being an ecological country.


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27.07.2021 | News, EPP TU Related Work, Socio-ecological transformation in SEE, Event

Strategic Workshop on Socio-Ecological Transformation in SEE: Krk

From 5th to 8th of July, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung organized an internal workshop on the Socio-Ecological Transformation in Southeast Europe on the „Green Island“ of Croatia, Krk. During the two first days of the workshop, the goal was to introduce the multitude of perspectives related to this topic, as well as map important change makers in the region, with best practice examples on facilitating the transformation process.


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29.06.2021 | Social Democratic Politics and Values, News, EPP TU Related Work, Socio-ecological transformation in SEE, Event

Call for Applications: Energy journalism program at the Energy Community Summer School 2021

We invite all journalists up to the age of thirty-five (35) from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey to apply for the Energy Summer School 2021, which will take place in Vienna from 21st to 28th of August 2021.


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25.06.2021 | Social Democratic Politics and Values, News, EPP TU Related Work, Socio-ecological transformation in SEE, Event

ConFESsions Podcast Episode 3: Rea Nepravishta (World Wildlife Fund Adria)

Episode 3 features Rea Nepravishta, an environmental activist and feminist from Albania. Rea has been engaged with her fellow activists in several battles to preserve nature in Albania.


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24.06.2021 | Social and Economic Justice, Social Democratic Politics and Values, News, EPP TU Related Work, Socio-ecological transformation in SEE, Event

Western Balkans Energy Transition: Fit or Fail for the EU?

On June 17th, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung EU Office in Brussels and Dialogue Southeast Europe in Sarajevo organized an online presentation and commentary of the initial results of the FES SOE Study on the Political Economy of Energy Transition (PEET) in Southeast Europe. The panel was organized in the light of EU's upcoming Fit for 55 plans to evaluate the state of the arts when it comes to energy transition in the Western Balkans, is the region fit or fail for the EU?


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04.06.2021 | News, EPP TU Related Work, Socio-ecological transformation in SEE, Event

Invitation: WB Energy Transition: Fit or fail for the EU?

Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung EU and SOE offices, in media cooperation with EURACTIV, are pleased to invite you to the online discussion on the energy transition in the Western Balkans. On June 17, from 5.00 to 6.30 pm CET, we will present the findings of our latest Study on the Political Economy of Energy Transition in the WB.


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01.06.2021 | Social Democratic Politics and Values, News, EPP TU Related Work, Socio-ecological transformation in SEE, Event

Grassroots Action for Green Change: Ulcinj

From 28th to 30th May, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Dialogue Southeast Europe organized a regional conference for environmental activists from SEE in Ulcinj. The event gathered around 20 activists from different countries and organizations across the region. The activists gathered to exchange best practices and advance their struggles to preserve, protect and improve their environments.


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28.05.2021 | Social and Economic Justice, Social Democratic Politics and Values, News, EPP TU Related Work, Socio-ecological transformation in SEE, Event

ConFESsions Podcast Episode 2: Aleksandar Jovanović Ćuta (Odbranimo reke Stare planine)

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12.05.2021 | Social Democratic Politics and Values, News, EPP TU Related Work, Socio-ecological transformation in SEE, Social and Economic Justice, Event

Western Balkans Energy Transition: The CROSSBOW Project

On May 12th, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Dialogue Southeast Europe organized second Briefing on Energy Transition in the Western Balkans. After the initial evaluation of present achievements and next steps in the first session, we partnered with CROSSBOW (Horizon2020) to deliver remarks on technology and innovation products developed to optimize the use of renewable energy sources and cross border management.


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06.05.2021 | Social and Economic Justice, Social Democratic Politics and Values, News, EPP TU Related Work, Socio-ecological transformation in SEE, Event

Western Balkans Energy Transition: Evaluating the present for a brighter future

On May 6th Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Dialogue Southeast Europe organized an online briefing session on Energy Transition in the Western Balkans. Six months after adopting the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans and ahead of the EU's Fit for 55 package, we looked into what was done and what are the next steps.


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04.05.2021 | News, EPP TU Related Work, Socio-ecological transformation in SEE, Social Democratic Politics and Values, Event

CoFESsions Episode 1: Omer Hujdur (Jer nas se tiče) / Uborak Landfill

On April 30th, we launched ConFESions: a series of video podcasts that will host regional environmental activists from Southeast Europe and give them the opportunity to speak about the evnironmental cause they are fighting for. For the first episode, our reporter Hana Sokolović spoke with Omer Hujdur from civil initiative „Jer nas se tiče“ on their efforts to shut down and relocate the dangerous uborak landfill near the city of Mostar.


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Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Dialogue Southeast Europe

Kupreška 20, 71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina

+387 33 711 540
+387 33 711 541
info(at)fes-soe.org

Team & Contact

Subscribe to our mailing list and receive our publications as soon as they are available: send us your contact info via info(at)fes-soe.org.

Program Overview

If you would like to have an overview of our study sessions within the EPP TU program, you can download the pdf version here.

EPP TU

»EPP TU is part of our work on just socio-ecological transformation in SEE.

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