08/03/2021

Setting up a new national civic monitoring network of the EU funds for the environment

At the present moment in Italy the setting up of the national civic monitoring network of European funds dedicated to the environment and sustainable development is underway. The associations Lunaria and Monithon are working in close relation in the framework of a project co-financed by the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission and thanks to the support of OpenCoesione.

 

The first step foresaw the identification of projects and public interventions financed by cohesion policy in Italy and referred to the abovementioned thematic areas: there are over 6 thousand projects, for an overall budget amount of over 6.5 billion euros.

The projects concern issues such as energy efficiency of public buildings and enterprises, prevention and mitigation of hydrogeological risk and climate change, waste management cycle and modernization of water network systems, wastewater treatment, protection of biodiversity and enhancement of cultural heritage.

According to the two promoters of the network, the institutions - regardless them being national, regional or local - "still show some uncertainty in collecting and transmitting timely information on the effectiveness and impact of the projects financed, which also may negatively affect the potentials in creating of the conditions for an informed and constructive dialogue with citizens and civil society organizations".

In order to support the overcoming of this problem, Lunaria and Monithon propose trainings dedicated to organizations, networks and informal groups of civil society, media operators, students and active citizens who want to carry out on their territories initiatives for civic monitoring of European funds for the environment and sustainability, up to the point of establishing a national network.

That said, already two public online events are scheduled for spring.

In April will take place a first training day aimed at sharing the knowledge, methods and tools to implement effective civic monitoring actions of EU funds for the environment. On this occasion, a new interactive platform will also be presented - specifically created by Monithon starting from the open data published by OpenCoesione - to promptly discover and geo-locate the projects financed on territorial level, and access all the information made available. 

A second training day is scheduled in May, aimed at presenting the civic monitoring initiatives launched on an experimental basis following the April training day (strengths & weaknesses, preliminary results achieved) and to lay the basis for the establishment of the national civic monitoring network of European funds for the environment and sustainable development.

The two-day online program in April and May will be available shortly. Anyone interested in participating or receiving further information on the project can write to: retemonitoraggiocivico@gmail.com