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Towards clean air in the Western Balkans

In collaboration with the European Environment Agency, Joint Research Centre and the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations

Air Quality is one of the main health and environmental concerns in the Western Balkans. The process of accession of these countries imposes the approximation with the EU acquis in the area of environment and climate change, among others.

This is a major challenge and at the same time an opportunity to improve not only the serious pollution situation in the Western Balkans but also to help the neighbouring EU member states to achieve their objectives in the area of air quality management. In this regard, the ambitious Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans (9 billion Euros) connected to the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans could be a key instrument for the sustainable development of this region.

The focus of the session will be on the air pollution from coal combustion and on the policies that are – or could be – planned or implemented to decarbonise the region for better air quality and healthier lives.


  • Vlatka Matkovic, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
  • Peter Vajda, Energy Community Secretariat
  • Claudio Belis, Joint Research Centre, European Commission
  • Petros Kokkalis, Member of the European Parliament
  • François Wakenhut, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission 
  • Naser Nuredini, Minister of the Environment and Physical Planning of the Republic of North Macedonia
  • Holger Schroeder, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission


High level session
Session 3.4
Start Date
End Date
Main programme
Room 4