The coal regions programme launches exchanges between Western Balkans and EU News | WeBalkans


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The coal regions programme launches exchanges between Western Balkans and EU

The coal regions exchange programme has launched six exchanges between areas in the Western Balkans and their EU counterparts. These provide an opportunity for these regions to start one-to-one dialogues and learn from each other’s experiences in moving away from coal as part of the transition to clean energy.


A total of 32 applications, representing a diverse geographic spread, were submitted for participation in the programme. Based on expert assessments, 14 of these have been grouped together to form six sets of exchange partners, who are currently preparing their exchanges. A further two sets were foreseen, each of them co-led by Ukrainian applicants, but have temporarily been put on hold.


Three exchanges will start in spring 2022, and the detailed planning and preparation of the other three will start in the second part of the year. Guided by dedicated exchange facilitators, programme participants are now developing precise roadmaps for their exchanges. These will feature either one or two in-person visits, which will be planned in advance through virtual interactions and discussions where the regions can solidify their relationship, ideally leading to fruitful cooperation beyond this programme.


The exchange programme is one of the key activities of the Initiative for coal regions in transition in the Western Balkans and Ukraine, which aims to help regions to move away from coal towards a carbon-neutral economy, ensuring this transition is just. It is managed by the European Commission and six collaborating international partners: the College of Europe in Natolin, the Energy Community Secretariat, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, Poland’s National Fund for Environment Protection and Water Management, and the World Bank.

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Source: European Union

Photo credits: European Union

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