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EICEE – Western Balkan Eco Innovation and Circular economy Ecosystem

17 Jan 2023
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Association for Democratic Prosperity – Zid from Montenegro together with CEDRA from Croatia, Deli Center from Serbia, ARNO from Macedonia, Lens from Kosovo, Green Building Council from Bosnia and Hercegovina implementing project “EICEE – Western Balkan Eco Innovation and Circular economy Ecosystem” supported by European Union through call EU Civil Society Facility and Media Programme in favor of the Western Balkans and Turkey for 2021-2023 (IPA III).

Overall objective of this project is strengthening capacities and engagement of civil society organizations in policy development leading to green and digital transition in WB region. The primary value of the action is set with a defined impact on the capacities of the social economy actors and the perception of the industry and the public sector on the use of resources in a sustainable way and based on the concept of eco-design. This action is perceived as a model that can provide solutions to the challenges within circular economy in project countries.This is set to be achieved by the following steps towards reaching defined specific objective, which is: to contribute to the active engagement of the network of social economy actors which endorses the creation of supportive ecosystem for green and circular economy development.

Sustainable economic development is one of the challenges which the entire social system is facing, not only a challenge for one of the WB countries. Includes integral economic, social, technological and cultural development, which are harmonized with the needs of environment protection and improvement and which enables the satisfaction of needs and the improvement of the quality of life for present and future generations. A number of steps, in all WB countries, have been recognized in the country at the level of strategic planning and development of action plans, but also numerous challenges have been identified that need to be addressed and remedied.

The current economic model in the region is still based on “take-make-replace.” It depletes our resources, pollutes our environment, and damages biodiversity and climate. It also makes countries, for majority production, dependent on resources from elsewhere. To address these problems, in the EU have aim to move to a more circular economy model based on more sustainable products. Western Balkan has to follow that route. Addressing the environmental impact of products throughout their life-cycle and extending their lifetime will lead to more sustainable, circular and more resource-efficient products. More sustainable products such as electronics, furniture and textiles will contribute to the resilience of the economy. Through research work, the regional research team will develop a set of recommendations as response to identified challenges

The key stakeholders have been identified primarily as middle-developed NGOs and social enterprises dealing in the circular and green economy sector. There are a significant number of actors in the civil sector who have developed ideas that encourage the development of a green and circular economy. But green technology is not available to most, as well as tools for prototyping, business plan development and sustainability plan for such production. In order to detect how individual waste can be managed, whether products can be sustainable and as such become part of strategic documents, market testing is needed and a group of people who believe in such a process is needed. But also the group of people who has the knowledge to make the process sustainable. Whit this action we replace the missing elements, support to services to help develop the production process and the knowledge of members that can help them make the process sustainable. In focus are business association, clusters, and cooperatives within Chambers of commerce and SMEs interested in matchmaking the economy with social economy and community innovation as well as public, regional and local institutions working on the development of sustainable development, economy, and community sustainable development.

The beneficiaries of this project are: research community in the Western Balkans, which received additional findings and services for applying research work in the development of innovative products and the economy in general; Social economy enterprises who will further use the developed project services and outcomes; and Community representatives, citizens ’association and all interested in gaining support and using green technology, knowledge and services for the development of eco innovation and 3R products.