Environment

State of compliance

The new draft Law on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) falls short of compliance with Directive 2014/52/EU, in particular with Article 5 and Annex IV concerning the content of the EIA report, Article 8(a) concerning the reasoned conclusions and the decision to grant the development consent for the project and Article 9(a) concerning conflicts of interest. The preparation of secondary legislation has not started yet. The provisions for transboundary EIA must be further aligned with Article 7 of the EIA Directive. To secure proper implementation and enforcement, the new draft legislation should be supplemented with a capacity building for public authorities, including at local level. In the reporting period, Kosovo* conducted an EIA procedure for one HPP project, HPP Dukagjini 3 in Deçan. Kosovo* failed to submit the requested information concerning the HPP cascade Decani within the framework of ongoing investigations by the Secretariat.

The current Law on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) should be amended to ensure that SEAs are carried out in parallel with the preparation of the plan or programme, before its submission to the legislative procedure, as stipulated in Article 4 of the SEA Directive. The Government should ensure that the strategic environmental assessment for the NECP is conducted as early as possible, and early and effective opportunities for the public to participate are provided.

Existing legislation in Kosovo* on the sulphur content of liquid fuels, including the administrative instruction on the technical requirements for import, storage, wholesale and retail sale of petroleum fuels, is in line with the provisions of the Directive.

In July 2021, Kosovo* adopted legislation compliant with the provisions of the Large Combustion Plants and Industrial Emissions Directives. With that, Kosovo* addressed the breach stipulated in a Decision of the Ministerial Council. Kosovo* complied with its emissions reporting obligations for the reporting year 2020 in March. Since the NERP ceilings for all three pollutants (sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust) are not compliant, and the absolute amount of emissions has even increased compared to 2019 levels, the Secretariat opened dispute settlement procedures in March 2021.

In the reporting period, Administrative Instruction No. 12/2020 on the Proclamation of Wild Species Protected and Strictly Protected was adopted. However, there were no new designations of protected areas. A full inventory of potential wetlands has not been prepared yet. The management plan for the National Park Sharii (Shar) Mountain should be updated and include a long-term monitoring programme. Furthermore, the Sharii (Shar) mountain management authorities in Kosovo* and North Macedonia should cooperate and coordinate joint activities for the proper protection of the cross-border national park. An upto-date management plan for the Special Area for Birds “Henc” is still lacking. The management bodies of the protected areas are seriously understaffed; in particular, they lack experienced biologists. Furthermore, only one inspector is assigned to deal with biodiversity cases/reports for all protected areas.