As reported by international and local organizations and agencies, as well as Kosovo Institutions, Kosovo is living numerous and diverse institutional and non-institutional challenges which primarily relate to the implementation of environmental legislation, construction practice without criteria, lack of Spatial Planning and local urban plans, lack of drinking water, lack of treatment for waste water, poor management of municipal and industrial wastes, lack of proper use of natural resources and its protection, etc.

Kosovo has harmonized and created environmental legislation in compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and environmental standards of the EU. This legislation generally reflects all the requirements of directives, regulations, conventions, as well as various environmental international treaties.

Despite the adoption and harmonization of legislation, the financial support received from donations and budget of Kosovo are not sufficient compared with existing environmental situation in Kosovo. The public and business community environmental awareness and education is not yet at the adequate level. The role of environmental NGOs remain weak and with limited opportunities for influence. In responding to environmental issues, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning (MESP) is updating the Kosovo Environmental Strategy (KES) and the National Environment Action Plan (NEAP) for 2011–15, working with ministries, nongovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders. The strategy and the action plan identify priorities for air, water, waste, chemicals, biodiversity, and environmental policy and categorize the proposed investment needs into high and medium priorities. The environmental priorities for the next five years are identified as completing environmental legislation in harmony with the EU “acquis”; gradually fulfilling EU standards and efficiently carrying out and incorporating environmental legislation and methodologies in all sectors; and setting up and expanding institutions for the implementation of environmental policies (including capacity building).

There are several specifics mentioned in the KES:

  • Providing financial and economic instruments for environmental protection. These should go hand-in-hand with economic development
  • Setting up and running an environmental monitoring network throughout Kosovo, with priority to major industrial pollutants and hotspots
  • Gradually increasing the population’s access to clean potable water, the sewage network, and municipal waste disposal, with support for programs for recycling wastewater and solid waste.
  • Using natural resources such as soil, water, minerals, and forests rationally. Special attention is needed in using limited resources and orienting toward renewables
  • Expanding protected areas and further protecting the natural heritage, along with increasing capacity for efficient management as per the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
  • Developing long-term educational and public-awareness campaigns and generating support for environmentally focused scientific projects
  • Applying energy-efficient concepts in all different economic sectors

ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION APPROXIMATION PROGRESS IN KOSOVO

  • In response to the European Partnership for Kosovo, in 2005 the Government of Kosovo adopted the first European Partnership Action Plan (EPAP). In order to address the challenges identified in the annual EC Progress Reports on Kosovo, EPAP is continuously updated at the end of each year and this is undertaken through the coordination of MEI and broad participation of Kosovo’s institutions: the Assembly, the Government, local authorities, independent institutions and others.
  • In April 2005, The European Commission adopted the Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on "A European Future for Kosovo".
  • In November 2005, The European Commission published its first progress report for Kosovo and Enlargement Strategy Paper.
  • In January 2006, The European Council adopted the second European Partnership for Kosovo.
  • In December 2007, The European Council confirmed the EU’s readiness to assist Kosovo’s economic and political development through a clear European perspective in line with the European perspective of the region.
  • In April 2008, Kosovo adopted Plan for European Integration 2008-2010.
  • In October 2009 Stabilization and Association Process Dialogue (SAPD) is established.
  • In October 2009, European Commission proposed initiation of the visa liberalization process for Kosovo and negotiation of the EU - Kosovo trade agreement
  • In April 2010, Kosovo established the Ministry of European Integration and in 2011 the Government adopted a regulation which provided an upgrade of Offices for European Integration within line ministries to Departments for European Integration and Coordination of Policies.
  • Institutions of the Republic of Kosovo remain committed for the implementation of the European agenda whilst it is strengthened with Kosovo’s formal participation in the Stabilization-Association Process, i.e. following the initiation of the Stabilization-Association Process Dialogue (SAPD) in 2010.
  • Chapter 27 of Environment Acquis is adopted in national legislation with several laws and sublegal acts.
 

Compare report with

Top Findings

Finding
1

Kosovo water law, is not fully transposed EU Water framework Directive and monitoring of ground water is not established yet

2

Kosovo don’t have yet River Basin authorities and River Basin Management Plans

3

Kosovo environmental institutions are at early stage of involvement of public participation in environmental decision process and public environmental information

4

Kosovo still has problems in the implementation of laws for SEA, IAE and still don’t have good practices for implantation request for public participation in decision making and public information

5

Kosovo has not signed the UNFCCC Convention and do not have reporting obligation. Ministry for Environment and Spatial Planning/MESP do not have specific department for Climate change. National Inventory System is not in place. Reference year for Green House Gas emission is not determined.

6

Limited capacities of Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning and Ministry of Economic Development for Climate Change issues

Top Recommendations

Recommendation
1

To fulfill legislation gaps in water sector with Administrative Instructions and prepare the River basin Management plans and improve water monitoring quality

2

To establish River Basin Authorities

3

Establishing mechanisms for providing the public with information, for public consultations and for public comments and opinions to be taken into account in the decision-making process

4

To identifying the relevant Competent Authorities for involvement of Public participation in decision making and for public information, and to adapt good practices and procedures for implementation of IEA, SEA

5

To establish National Inventory System and to determinate Reference year for Green House Gas emission and to complete the Green House Gas Inventory for all sectors and Gases

6

To increase capacity of Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning and Ministry of Economic Development for Climate Change issues



EU environmental policy categories

Legislation:

Kosovo Water law (Law. Nr.04/147), approved date 19.03.2013

Purpose of this Law shall be to provide sustainable development and utilization of water resources that are necessary for public health, environmental protection and social- economic development of the Republic of Kosovo, to establish procedures and guiding principles for the optimal distribution of water resources, based on the use and purpose; to ensure protection of water resources from pollution and to determine the institutional structures for managing the water resources.

Implementation:

Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning through Water Department is responsible for water policies, programs, and permits
Department of Inspectorate is responsible for control of implementation of Water law.

Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for water quality monitoring and water quantity monitoring.

Kosovo has not established an Authority of River Basin.

Legislation Gaps:

The regulations for establishment of water basin authorities is not adopted yet

Implementation Gaps:

Kosovo has not yet established the River Basin Authorities and still have not developed Protection Plans for River Basin.

Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation:

Kosovo Water law (Law. Nr.04/147) date 19.03.2013

Implementation:

Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning through Water Department is responsible for water policies, programs and permits for ground water.

Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for ground water monitoring.

Legislation Gaps:

To improve ground water protection it is needed to approved:
• Administrative instruction on “Norms of Environmental Quality in ground waters” and
• Administrative Instructions on “Classification of ground water bodies’.

Implementation Gaps:

The network of monitoring of ground water is not established

Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation:

Kosovo Water Law (Law. Nr.04/147) date 19.03.2013

Administrative Instruction on requirements, methods, parameters and limit values for discharge of wastewater in the public sewage system and water bodies No. 30/14, date 30.12.2014
Administrative Instruction on Limit Values of Effluents Discharged in Water Bodies and in Public Sewage Systems No. 08/26, date 09.07.2008

Implementation:

Kosovo is in the process of establishment and building of water treatment plants.
Several feasibility studies for water treatment plans for main regions of Kosovo are finished.

Actually only one water treatment plan is in the function (10.000 habitants).

Legislation Gaps:

Preparation of Administrative Instruction and Regulation to adopt the Urban Waste Water Directive

Implementation Gaps:

There is still need to increase administrative capacity, public awareness and infrastructures for urban water treatment

Legislation:

Kosovo Water law (Law. Nr.04/147) date 19.03.2013

Law on Environment (Law. Nr.03/L025) date 26.02.2009

Implementation:

Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for water quality monitoring and water quantity monitoring.

Kosovo National Institute for Public Health is responsible for drinking water quality.

Legislation Gaps:

Transposition of the Water Quality Standards Directive is at an early stage.

Transposition of the Directive 2009/90/EC on technical specifications for chemical analysis and monitoring of water status (Quality Assurance/Quality Control) has not started yet.

Implementation Gaps:

There is still need to increase administrative capacity for water quality monitoring and control.

National program for water quality monitoring is not fully implemented.

Water Pollution Cadaster is not completed.

Legislation:

Law on Environment (Law. Nr.03/L025) date 26.02.2009
This law shall harmonize economic development and social welfare with basic principles for environmental protection according to the concept of sustainable development.

Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, Nr.03/L-214 date 23.09.2020
The aim of this Law is to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts of proposed public and private projects and thereby contribute to the safeguarding and improvement of the environment, the protection of human health, and the improvement of the quality of life.

Law on Access to Public Documents Nr.03-L-215, date 07.10.2010
This Law shall guarantee the right of every natural and legal person to have access, without discrimination on any grounds, following a prior application, to official documents maintained, drawn or received by the public institutions.

Implementation:

Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning and other central institutions and municipalities have limited human capacities to implement approved laws on field of Public Access to environmental information

Legislation Gaps:

Kosovo has not signed the Aarhus Convention and don’t have reporting obligation

Implementation Gaps:

Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning has not established the specific office of transparency with the public related to environmental issues and to Aarhus Convention.

No specific procedures to provide environmental information to the public request.

Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation:

Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, Nr.03/L-214 date 23.09.2020

Administrative Instruction on the Information, Participation of the Public and Public Concerned in EIA Procedures No. 12/2010, 09 February 2010.

Implementation:

The law is implemented through the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, under the Department for Environmental Protection is Section for Environmental Impact Assessment and Permits

Legislation Gaps:

With changes and included exemptions in the Regulation itself and dismantling through other Laws in Force, EIA Regulation has turned into a formality rather than an environmental check on projects.

Implementation Gaps:

Expect the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, Nr.03/L-214, that has transposed 100% EU Directive Environmental Impact Assessment, Kosovo still has problems in the implementation of law and still doesn’t have good practices for implementation of IAE procedures

Legislation:

Law on Strategic Environmental Assessment No.DL-050-2010, date 18.10.2010.
The purpose of this law is to ensure through strategic environmental assessment of certain plans and programs, high level for protection of the environment and human health.

Implementation:

The law is implemented through the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, there under Department for Environmental Protection as a unit for Strategic Environmental Assessment.

Municipalities has limited capacities to implement the Law.

Legislation Gaps:

The list of plans and programs for which Drafting of SEA report is obligator are not specified enough

Implementation Gaps:

To increase capacities of Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning an Municipalities for better implementation of law on Strategic Environmental Assessment No.DL-050-2010

Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
.
Legislation:

Law on Energy No. DL-058-2010, Date 25.10.2010
The scope of this law includes electricity, heating, natural gas, and renewable energy sources, and the law provides for the development and implementation of an energy strategy, including forecasting of energy balances and policy on energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and cogeneration

Law on the Energy Regulator No. DL-059-2010, Date 25.10.2010
The law defines the powers,, including the conditions for issuing licenses to carry out energy activities, procedures for granting authorizations for the construction of new generating capacity, the creation and efficient functioning of competitive energy markets, and the criteria for regulating tariffs and the conditions of energy supply

Administrative Instruction on Renewable Energy Targets No.01/2013

Law on Environment (Law. Nr.03/L025) date 26.02.2009
Administrative Instruction GRK-No.01/2016 on Mechanism for Monitoring Greenhouse Gas Emissions, was finally approved in the 72nd meeting of the Government of Republic of Kosovo with the decision no. 03/72, date 29.01.2016

Implementation:

No specific law on Renewable energy resources.

Kosovo has not signed the UNFCCC Convention and doesn’t have reporting obligation.

Administrative Instruction establishes a mechanism for:
Ensuring the timeliness, transparency, accuracy, consistency, comparability and completeness of reporting for greenhouse gas emissions;
Monitoring and reporting all anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases on substances that deplete the ozone layer;
Monitoring, reporting, assessment of progress, reviewing and verifying greenhouse gas emissions and other information’s;
Monitoring and reporting on the actions to adapt to the inevitable consequences of climate change in a cost effective manner;
With this Administrative Instruction made the partially transposition of Regulation 525/2013/EC

Legislation Gaps:

The main institutions related to implementation of the Law on Energy as Ministry of Economic Development through Department of Energy.

Ministry for Economic Development has approved the targets for renewable energy in line with request of EU Directive 20/20/20.

The Energy Regulatory Office is responsible for implementation of Law on the Energy Regulation.

Ministry for Environment and Spatial Planning/MESP is responsible for Climate Changes issues.

Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for Monitoring and Inventory of Green House Gas Inventory.

Kosovo has its National Climate Change Strategy where adaptation measures in Energy sector are planned.

Implementation Gaps:

Ministry for Environment and Spatial Planning/MESP doesn’t have specific department for Climate change.

National Inventory System is not in place.

Reference year for Green House Gas emission is not determined.

Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:

Ministry of Environment has failed to intervene in numerous issues related to hazardous waste; a recent case in Izmir represents an important example for this phenomenon. A ship which has completed its lifetime carrying natural gas is being detached since July, 2016, which causes release of various harmful gases. Although there are legal measures prohibiting the detachment of the ship in addition to a continuing lawsuit, the Ministry fails to intervene and stop the faulty implementation of the legislation.

Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps: