Research Programmes & Projects

Publication Activities

MoU & Agreements
Training Schools
Educational Support
Conferences & Meetings

Research Programmes & Projects

Publication Activities

MoU & Agreements
Training Schools
Educational Support
Conferences & Meetings

Mediterranean Accession Agenda to the Aarhus Convention (2020-2022)

It is the research component of a project launching the MSSD (Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development 2016-2025) Flagship Initiative on Environmental Governance to encourage the accession to and implementation of the Aarhus Convention in all Mediterranean countries and promote stakeholder engagement, and, thus, make more effective and efficient the implementation, compliance and enforcement of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols. This Research Project was undertaken by MEPIELAN/Panteion University with the support of the MIO-ECSDE through the European Union (EU) Life Programme and the EU Water and Environment Support (WES) Regional Project. It developed a Foundational Document on the legal, governance and policy aspects for the appropriate construction of an accession process of the Mediterranean non-Parties to the Aarhus Convention regime (the Southern Mediterranean countries), unveiling and evaluating the insights, benefits, opportunities and challenges for the acceding states.
In this vein, It specifically explores:

  • the diverse fields of universality of the Aarhus Convention’s principles and the architecture and governance of the Aarhus Convention and the benefits of accession
  • the normative function of its interlinkages with various international institutional structures (International Finance Institutions (IFIS), ICAO) and processes (international trade negotiations, international technological processes {GMOs, Geo-engineering}, protection of environmental human rights defenders)
  • the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the implementation of the Aarhus Convention regime
  • the capacity building to advance participatory governance related to the enhancement of transboundary environmental decision-making process, the strengthening of negotiating capacities for promoting the Aarhus Convention’s principles in international fora and the special role of Aarhus Centres to build governance-by-dialogue
  • Architecture and Management of Accession for Countries outside the ECE Region and, how to negotiate creatively and effectively the accession to the Aarhus Convention, building a multilateral structured approach and platform

Scientific Coordinator and Editor: Evangelos Raftopoulos, Professor Emeritus, Director, MEPIELAN Centre

  • Authors:
    Evangelos Raftopoulos, Professor Emeritus, Director, MEPIELAN Centre
    Elli Louka, International Expert, MEPIELAN Academic Fellow
    Socrates Zachos, MEPIELAN Research Fellow
    George Raftopoulos, MEPIELAN Research Fellow

Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in the Balkan Corridor: Labour and Environmental Perspectives ” (2018)

Lau China Institute, King’s College London, MEPIELAN Centre and the Slovenian Academy of Social Sciences are Partners to the development of a research project entitled “Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in the Balkan Corridor: Labour and Environmental Perspectives”. Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) has attracted considerable attention worldwide, triggering both positive and negative reactions. While some countries, especially developing and crisis-stricken EU nations, approach Chinese FDI as an important new source of investment, others fear that it promotes a model of development that challenges Western norms, regulatory standards and, in general, sustainability governance.

This research project engages directly with this debate, examining two key areas of concern on Chinese FDI, namely labour rights and environmental protection, in a region that is designated as the western end of China’s new ‘Silk Road’; the so-called ‘Balkan Corridor’. Spanning both EU and non-EU regulatory regimes, the region presents a key case study in determining whether Chinese investment creates downward pressures on labour and environmental standards – criticism levelled at Chinese FDI by EU officials, industrialists, national authorities, unions and environmental NGOs. As the complexity of the project requires expertise in area studies, politics, law, environmental law, governance and policies, and health sciences, the Partners have pulled together a multidisciplinary network of experts within King’s, Panteion University and the Slovenian Academy of Social Sciences. This project will serve as a springboard for a funding submission to the ERC.

King’s College London in cooperation with MEPIELAN Centre organized an international workshop for the promotion of the research project held in Athens, on 14-15 June, 2018, at the premises of the Institute of International Relations (Conveners: Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos (MEPIELAN Centre) and Dr. Konstantinos Tsimonis , Dr. Igor Rogelja, Dr. Ben Barrat and Dr. Megan Bowman (King’s College London). The workshop discussed the relevant issues and identified the current problems and the wider regional trends in the context of the relationship and interactions between Chinese investment and sustainability governance.

MEPIELAN Pro-Bono Project on the Translation of the Barcelona Convention System

MEPIELAN CENTRE carries out the Translation Pro-Bono Project of the Barcelona Convention system and MAP into Greek. The aim of this continuing project is twofold:

  • to facilitate the ratification process of those amended and new Protocols that still remain unratified by Greece
  • to contribute to the development of a Greek linguistic policy for the translation of international environmental agreements and to define the appropriate standard use of legal and technical terms
RESEARCH PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS

Mainstreaming the Public Trust Approach (PTA) in the UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention System (2021-2022)

This project was based on an Agreement between UNEP/MAP and MEPIELAN/Panteion University launching the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2025 (MSSD) Flagship Initiative: “Develop capacity-building programmes on issues related to implementation and compliance with environmental obligations and agreements, including environmental impact assessments (EIA) and strategic environmental assessments (SEA). The Project developed a Foundational Document, which explores the current state of art of the Public Trust Approach (PTA) in national and international affairs, showcasing its importance for the UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention system and the governance of the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment; reviews the UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention system to evaluate the fiduciary aspects of its mandate in promoting sustainability and the ecosystem-based approach (EcAp)) as well as public participation in compliance and enforcement; unveils the interrelations between the governance of the UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention system and the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), supporting the effective integration of scientific and citizen knowledge into environmental governance in the Mediterranean; and assesses the introduction of the Public Trust Approach in the UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention system for the attainment of whole-of-society and whole-of governance participation, providing a solid basis in the formulation, implementation, compliance and legal enforcement of UNEP/MAP policies.

Scientific Coordinator: Evangelos Raftopoulos, Professor Emeritus, Director, MEPIELAN Centre

  • Research Team:
    Evangelos Raftopoulos, Professor Emeritus, Director, MEPIELAN Centre
    Vassiliki Karageorgou, Associate Professor, Panteion University, MEPIELAN Academic Fellow
    George Raftopoulos, MEPIELAN Research Fellow

European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research – COST Action IS0802 “The Transformation of Global Environmental Governance: Risks and Opportunities” (2008-2012)

MEPIELAN Centre has been a partner to the COST Action IS0802 entitled “The Transformation of Global Environmental Governance: Risks and Opportunities (TGEG)” (2008-2012). The Director of MEPIELAN Centre was a Member of the Management Committee of this COST Action and elected as Chairman of the Working Group 3 entitled “Governance Architecture and Processes within Global Environmental Governance (GAP)”

In the framework of COST Action IS0802, MEPIELAN Centre:

  • Organized the 1st COST Training School on International Environmental Negotiation as a Governance Process, 23-27 November 2009, Glyfada Training Centre, Athens, Greece
  • Promoted cooperation and communication with the participating European Universities, Institutes and Centres: the platform of MEPIELAN E-Bulletin served for including selected articles or presenting books of the COST participating scholars, and its website served for promoting COST activities
  • MEPIELAN Centre’s Director actively participated in the decision-making and policy formulation of the COST Management Committee Meetings, in the Coordination of WGIII (2008-2012) and in the Presentation of Results – Lessons Learned and Future Challenges (Final Management Committee Meeting, Amsterdam, 12 October 2012)
  • Strengthened its Networking: Active participation in the 2009 International Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Programme, Open Meeting, 28-30 April, 2009, World Conference Centre, Bonn, Germany and the 2009 Amsterdam Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, Earth System Governance Project, 2-4 December 2009, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Cooperated with the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (NFI), Norway, in Short-term Scientific Missions (STSMs): MEPIELAN Centre sent its Researcher, Mr. Alexandros Kailis, to NFI (Host: Dr Steinar Andresen) to work on his Ph. D Thesis (STSM Topic: The Science-Politics Interface in the Negotiation Process of International Environmental Regimes)

Best Aegean Routes Project (2003-2006)

  • MEPIELAN CENTRE has been the leading legal partner to the the Project “DEVELOPMENT OF AN OPERATIONAL SYSTEM AND METHODOLOGY FOR THE DESIGNATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTALLY, LEGALLY AND SOCIO-ECONOMICALLY BEST ROUTES FOR THE TRANSIT OF OIL PRODUCTS FROM THE CASPIAN SEA TO THE MEDITERRANEAN THROUGH THE AEGEAN SEA” (“AEGEAN ROUTES PROJECT”)(2003-2006), an innovative multi-partner research project funded by: the Operational Programme “Competitiveness” of the General Secretariat of Research and Technology-Greek Ministry of Development, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) the Greek Government and the private sector. The Cooperating Partners included the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)/Department of Naval Architecture, Department of Chemical Engineering and Research University Institute of Communication Systems and Computers, MEPIELAN/Panteion University of Athens, National Centre of Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biology of Crete, and Private Sector.
  •  MEPIELAN was responsible for:
    – WORK UNIT 300: “Collection and Analysis of the Global the International Conventions on Safety-at-Sea, the Barcelona Convention System for the Protection of the Mediterranean Coastal and Marine Environment, and the Relevant European and National Legislation Resulting in the Evolving Aegean Legal and Environmental Regime – Investigation into the Possibility of Establishing a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) Regime in the Aegean”
  • Scientific Responsible of the Work:
    – Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos
    – MEPIELAN Research Team: E. Levantis, L. Xirotyri, M. Soumela, A. Kouvertari, S. Zachos
RESEARCH PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS

Mediterranean Accession Agenda to the Aarhus Convention (2020-2022)

It is the research component of a project launching the MSSD (Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development 2016-2025) Flagship Initiative on Environmental Governance to encourage the accession to and implementation of the Aarhus Convention in all Mediterranean countries and promote stakeholder engagement, and, thus, make more effective and efficient the implementation, compliance and enforcement of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols. This Research Project was undertaken by MEPIELAN/Panteion University with the support of the MIO-ECSDE through the European Union (EU) Life Programme and the EU Water and Environment Support (WES) Regional Project. It developed a Foundational Document on the legal, governance and policy aspects for the appropriate construction of an accession process of the Mediterranean non-Parties to the Aarhus Convention regime (the Southern Mediterranean countries), unveiling and evaluating the insights, benefits, opportunities and challenges for the acceding states.
In this vein, It specifically explores:

  • the diverse fields of universality of the Aarhus Convention’s principles and the architecture and governance of the Aarhus Convention and the benefits of accession
  • the normative function of its interlinkages with various international institutional structures (International Finance Institutions (IFIS), ICAO) and processes (international trade negotiations, international technological processes {GMOs, Geo-engineering}, protection of environmental human rights defenders)
  • the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the implementation of the Aarhus Convention regime
  • the capacity building to advance participatory governance related to the enhancement of transboundary environmental decision-making process, the strengthening of negotiating capacities for promoting the Aarhus Convention’s principles in international fora and the special role of Aarhus Centres to build governance-by-dialogue
  • Architecture and Management of Accession for Countries outside the ECE Region and, how to negotiate creatively and effectively the accession to the Aarhus Convention, building a multilateral structured approach and platform
    Scientific Coordinator and Editor: Evangelos Raftopoulos, Professor Emeritus, Director, MEPIELAN Centre

  • Authors:
    Evangelos Raftopoulos, Professor Emeritus, Director, MEPIELAN Centre
    Elli Louka, International Expert, MEPIELAN Academic Fellow
    Socrates Zachos, MEPIELAN Research Fellow
    George Raftopoulos, MEPIELAN Research Fellow

Mainstreaming the Public Trust Approach (PTA) in the UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention System (2021-2022)

This project was based on an Agreement between UNEP/MAP and MEPIELAN/Panteion University launching the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2025 (MSSD) Flagship Initiative: “Develop capacity-building programmes on issues related to implementation and compliance with environmental obligations and agreements, including environmental impact assessments (EIA) and strategic environmental assessments (SEA). The Project developed a Foundational Document, which explores the current state of art of the Public Trust Approach (PTA) in national and international affairs, showcasing its importance for the UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention system and the governance of the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment; reviews the UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention system to evaluate the fiduciary aspects of its mandate in promoting sustainability and the ecosystem-based approach (EcAp)) as well as public participation in compliance and enforcement; unveils the interrelations between the governance of the UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention system and the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), supporting the effective integration of scientific and citizen knowledge into environmental governance in the Mediterranean; and assesses the introduction of the Public Trust Approach in the UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention system for the attainment of whole-of-society and whole-of governance participation, providing a solid basis in the formulation, implementation, compliance and legal enforcement of UNEP/MAP policies.

Scientific Coordinator: Evangelos Raftopoulos, Professor Emeritus, Director, MEPIELAN Centre

  • Research Team:
    Evangelos Raftopoulos, Professor Emeritus, Director, MEPIELAN Centre
    Vassiliki Karageorgou, Associate Professor, Panteion University, MEPIELAN Academic Fellow
    George Raftopoulos, MEPIELAN Research Fellow

Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in the Balkan Corridor: Labour and Environmental Perspectives ” (2018)

Lau China Institute, King’s College London, MEPIELAN Centre and the Slovenian Academy of Social Sciences are Partners to the development of a research project entitled “Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in the Balkan Corridor: Labour and Environmental Perspectives”. Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) has attracted considerable attention worldwide, triggering both positive and negative reactions. While some countries, especially developing and crisis-stricken EU nations, approach Chinese FDI as an important new source of investment, others fear that it promotes a model of development that challenges Western norms, regulatory standards and, in general, sustainability governance.

This research project engages directly with this debate, examining two key areas of concern on Chinese FDI, namely labour rights and environmental protection, in a region that is designated as the western end of China’s new ‘Silk Road’; the so-called ‘Balkan Corridor’. Spanning both EU and non-EU regulatory regimes, the region presents a key case study in determining whether Chinese investment creates downward pressures on labour and environmental standards – criticism levelled at Chinese FDI by EU officials, industrialists, national authorities, unions and environmental NGOs. As the complexity of the project requires expertise in area studies, politics, law, environmental law, governance and policies, and health sciences, the Partners have pulled together a multidisciplinary network of experts within King’s, Panteion University and the Slovenian Academy of Social Sciences. This project will serve as a springboard for a funding submission to the ERC.

 King’s College London in cooperation with MEPIELAN Centre organized an international workshop for the promotion of the research project held in Athens, on 14-15 June, 2018, at the premises of the Institute of International Relations (Conveners: Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos (MEPIELAN Centre) and Dr. Konstantinos Tsimonis , Dr. Igor Rogelja, Dr. Ben Barrat and Dr. Megan Bowman (King’s College London). The workshop discussed the relevant issues and identified the current problems and the wider regional trends in the context of the relationship and interactions between Chinese investment and sustainability governance.

European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research – COST Action IS0802 “The Transformation of Global Environmental Governance: Risks and Opportunities” (2008-2012)

MEPIELAN Centre has been a partner to the COST Action IS0802 entitled “The Transformation of Global Environmental Governance: Risks and Opportunities (TGEG)” (2008-2012). The Director of MEPIELAN Centre was a Member of the Management Committee of this COST Action and elected as Chairman of the Working Group 3 entitled “Governance Architecture and Processes within Global Environmental Governance (GAP)”

In the framework of COST Action IS0802, MEPIELAN Centre:

  • Organized the 1st COST Training School on International Environmental Negotiation as a Governance Process, 23-27 November 2009, Glyfada Training Centre, Athens, Greece
  • Promoted cooperation and communication with the participating European Universities, Institutes and Centres: the platform of MEPIELAN E-Bulletin served for including selected articles or presenting books of the COST participating scholars, and its website served for promoting COST activities
  • MEPIELAN Centre’s Director actively participated in the decision-making and policy formulation of the COST Management Committee Meetings, in the Coordination of WGIII (2008-2012) and in the Presentation of Results – Lessons Learned and Future Challenges (Final Management Committee Meeting, Amsterdam, 12 October 2012)
  • Strengthened its Networking: Active participation in the 2009 International Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Programme, Open Meeting, 28-30 April, 2009, World Conference Centre, Bonn, Germany and the 2009 Amsterdam Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, Earth System Governance Project, 2-4 December 2009, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Cooperated with the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (NFI), Norway, in Short-term Scientific Missions (STSMs): MEPIELAN Centre sent its Researcher, Mr. Alexandros Kailis, to NFI (Host: Dr Steinar Andresen) to work on his Ph. D Thesis (STSM Topic: The Science-Politics Interface in the Negotiation Process of International Environmental Regimes)

Best Aegean Routes Project (2003-2006)

  • MEPIELAN CENTRE has been the leading legal partner to the the Project “DEVELOPMENT OF AN OPERATIONAL SYSTEM AND METHODOLOGY FOR THE DESIGNATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTALLY, LEGALLY AND SOCIO-ECONOMICALLY BEST ROUTES FOR THE TRANSIT OF OIL PRODUCTS FROM THE CASPIAN SEA TO THE MEDITERRANEAN THROUGH THE AEGEAN SEA” (“AEGEAN ROUTES PROJECT”)(2003-2006), an innovative multi-partner research project funded by: the Operational Programme “Competitiveness” of the General Secretariat of Research and Technology-Greek Ministry of Development, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) the Greek Government and the private sector. The Cooperating Partners included the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)/Department of Naval Architecture, Department of Chemical Engineering and Research University Institute of Communication Systems and Computers, MEPIELAN/Panteion University of Athens, National Centre of Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biology of Crete, and Private Sector.
  •  MEPIELAN was responsible for:
    – WORK UNIT 300: “Collection and Analysis of the Global the International Conventions on Safety-at-Sea, the Barcelona Convention System for the Protection of the Mediterranean Coastal and Marine Environment, and the Relevant European and National Legislation Resulting in the Evolving Aegean Legal and Environmental Regime – Investigation into the Possibility of Establishing a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) Regime in the Aegean”
  • Scientific Responsible of the Work:
    – Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos
    – MEPIELAN Research Team: E. Levantis, L. Xirotyri, M. Soumela, A. Kouvertari, S. Zachos

MEPIELAN Pro-Bono Project on the Translation of the Barcelona Convention System

MEPIELAN CENTRE carries out the Translation Pro-Bono Project of the Barcelona Convention system and MAP into Greek. The aim of this continuing project is twofold:

  • to facilitate the ratification process of those amended and new Protocols that still remain unratified by Greece
  • to contribute to the development of a Greek linguistic policy for the translation of international environmental agreements and to define the appropriate standard use of legal and technical terms
PUBLICATION ACTIVITIES

MEPIELAN Studies in International Environmental Law and Negotiation

MEPIELAN Centre produces the series MEPIELAN Studies in International Environmental Law and Negotiation, which started in 2003, when MEPIELAN functioned as an international research, training and informational programme of the Panteion University of Athens. The series aim at promoting an interdisciplinary approach to international environmental law, sustainable development and international environmental negotiation, with a focus on the Mediterranean Region, and publish innovative international scholarship in these fields.

Managing Editor and Editor in Chief: Professor E. Raftopoulos

International Editorial Board

Publishers: NOMIKI BIBLIOTHIKI, Athens, Bruylant

MEPIELAN E-BULLETIN

(https://ebulletin.mepielan.gr)

MEPIELAN E-Bulletin is a dynamic electronic newsletter of MEPIELAN Centre, Panteion University of Athens, Greece launched in 2010.  It features guest articles, insights articles, critical forum textual contributions, specially selected documents and cases, book reviews as well as current news on thematic topics of direct interest of MEPIELAN Centre, shedding light on topical issues of environmental law, governance and policy significance. The Bulletin provides a dynamic scholarly forum for inter-disciplinary and innovative knowledge on international environmental law and policy with a view to protecting and advancing international common interest. Distinguished academic experts, expert-officers of international organizations and scholars as well as of promising young researchers contribute new ideas and enlightening presentations of current issues and problems of international law and policy, environment and development. According to the latest official figures (GOOGLE ANALYTICS), the Bulletin’s website receives visitors from 167 countries worldwide.

Editorial Committee (Editor and Director Professor E. Raftopoulos , Editorial Assistant Mr. S. Zachos, MEPIELAN Editorial Research Team), International Advisory Board

MoU & AGREEMENTS

October 12, 2020Memorandum of Understanding between the MEPIELAN Centre/Panteion University and the Mediterranean Information Centre for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO/ECSDE) for the Implementation of the MSSD Flagship Initiative to Encourage the Accession to the Aarhus Convention

In pursuance of the promotion of the Governance Objective of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2025 (MSSD – Objective 6), and, specifically, embarking on the implementation of the Flagship Initiative “to encourage the adoption and implementation of the Aarhus Convention”, MEPIELAN Centre/Panteion University has signed with MIO-ECSDE, on 12 October 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding between MEPIELAN Centre/Panteion University of Athens and MIO/ECSD for the Implementation of the MSSD Flagship Initiative to Encourage the Accession to the Aarhus Convention. This MoU reflects the mutual interest of the Parties to cooperate for addressing research, awareness raising and capacity building needs for launching the above MSSD Flagship Initiative on Environmental Governance in the Mediterranean countries and promote stakeholders engagement.

December 30, 2020Agreement 14/2020 between MIO/ECSDE and Panteion/MEPIELAN Concerning the Provision of Expertise on the basis of the MoU already established between MIO/ECSDE and MEPIELAN/Panteion

In the framework of the above MoU, MEPIELAN/Panteion University and MIO/ECSDE have signed, on 30 December 2020, a specific performative Agreement implementing the activity in the MoU entitled “Mediterranean Accession Agenda” to the Aarhus Convention”. In this context, MEPIELAN/Panteion will undertake to define the objectives, expected results and key steps towards the “Mediterranean Accession Agenda” to the Aarhus Convention”, and the elaboration of a desk study for the development of a Foundation Discussion Document for the “Mediterranean Accession Agenda” to the Aarhus Convention” in accordance with the Terms of Reference (ToRs) contained in Annex I of this Agreement.
TRAINING SCHOOLS AND SEMINARS

THE MEPIELAN CENTRE SIGNS A SSFA CONTRACT WITH UNEP/MAP FOR THE LAUNCH OF A TRAINING SCHOOL ON SUSTAINABLE GOVERNANCE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION

MEPIELAN Centre, represented by its Director Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos, and UNEP/MAP, represented by the Coordinator Ms. Tatjana Hema, signed a  Small Scale Funding Agreement (SSFA) on 22 November 2023 for the launching of a Training School as a first step on the educational programme on sustainable environmental  governance in the Mediterranean Region.

This project is an educational implementation of the UNEP/MAP Medium Term Strategy (MTS) 2022-2027 and directly contributes to the application of the MTS Enabling Programme 7 “For informed and consistent advocacy, awareness, education and communication” , rendering the Mediterranean  Region as “the first region in the world to develop a regional Strategy for Education on Sustainable Development” (MTS, para. 32). Contributing to several SDGs targets (in particular those under SDGs 4, 16 and 17), Programme 7 particularly focus on civil society engagement. The project is also an educational implementation of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) (Objective 6 – Governance and Objective 4 – Tackling climate change as a priority issue for the Mediterranean), and contributes to the implementation of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols (Article 13 “Scientific and technical cooperation”, Article 15 “Information and public participation” of the Barcelona Convention and Article 15 of the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).

As part of the Training Programme, the Training School is the first step towards the establishment of a Postgraduate Programme leading to a Master’s degree in sustainable maritime governance in the Mediterranean. The initiative for such a Training Programme has long been pursued by MEPIELAN at the Meetings and Conferences of the Parties to the Barcelona Convention and has been reflected in the Reports of these Meetings. The MEPIELAN Centre, as a UNEP/MAP Partner since 2013 and as a Non-Contracting Member of the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development (MCSD) from 2015 to 2021, within the Scientific Community Group of the 40-member reformed MCSD (Decision IG. 22/17), worked to promote the Training Programme within this UNEP/MAP advisory body.

The Training School will develop a broad and comprehensive knowledge of interdisciplinary methodology, understanding of processes and innovative approaches to sustainable governance within the UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention system. It will explore the creative connection of environmental law and environmental governance with political science, ecology, management, technology, biological science, climate science, economics and social sciences, as well as addressing the critical ethical dimension. In this context, it will create a high quality international network of expertise of international organisations, academics and students in this field and contribute to the visibility and impact of the Barcelona Convention system.

The thematic areas of the Training School programme will include the following:

  • The Barcelona Convention system for the protection of the marine environment and coastal areas of the Mediterranean
  • Specific Law and Governance Issues for Environmental Protection and Sustainability in the Mediterranean Region and their relation to the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Public Participation and Sustainability Governance in the Mediterranean Region: International Interlinkages
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Mediterranean
  • Investment and Environment in the Mediterranean: Legal, Political and Economic Perspectives

The Training School will be conducted by MEPIELAN Centre in cooperation with the European Public Law Organization (EPLO), activating the Memorandum of Understanding between MEPIELAN Centre and EPLO 2022, and with the support of the UNEP/MAP Secretariat. It is expected to take place in April 2024, and will be delivered on line and interactively. An advanced training platform will be built for this purpose. The Programme is addressed to a wide audience of students, young professionals from public and private institutions and NGOs working in the field of environment and sustainable development, as well as young diplomats.

Distinguished speakers and lecturers will participate in the Training School coming from collaborating Universities, Research Centres and Institutes, International Organizations and Academic Associations.

More Details about the Training School will be announced in due course.

  • MEPIELAN Centre Seminar Circle: The Art and Technique of International Negotiations, IDIS Lifelong Learning Programme, Seminar Circle, 30 May, 6, 13, 20 June 2013, IDIS, Athens, Greece

  • MEPIELAN Centre Seminar Circle: The Art and Technique of International Negotiations, IDIS Lifelong Learning Programme, Seminar Circle, 7, 14, 21, 28 June 2012, IDIS, Athens, Greece

  • MEPIELAN Centre: COST Training School on International Environmental Negotiation as a Governance Process, 23-27 November 2009, Glyfada Training Centre, Athens, Greece

  • MEPIELAN & MIO/ECSDE Mediterranean Seminar on the Legal Aspects of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, MIO/ECSDE Premises, 26-27 October 2006, Athens, Greece

  • First MEPIELAN Seminar on International Environmental Negotiation and its Application in the Mediterranean, Glyfada Conference Centre & Premises of the Mediterranean Action Plan /UNEP, 18-22 February 2002, Athens, Greece

ERT Digital, 8 Dec 2009

EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT

MEPIELAN Centre provides educational material and support for the following Postgraduate and Undergraduate Courses of
the Department of International, European and Area Studies, Panteion University of Athens

  • Postgraduate Courses:
    1. International Environmental Governance at the Global and Regional Level (since 2005) [Professor E. Raftopoulos & MEPIELAN Centre Academic Experts and Research Fellows]
    2. Theory and Technique of International Environmental Negotiation as a Governance Process (since 2005) [Professor E. Raftopoulos & MEPIELAN Centre Research Fellows]
  • Undergraduate Courses:
    1. International Environmental Law and the Mediterranean (since 2002) [Professor E. Raftopoulos & MEPIELAN Centre Academic Experts and Research Fellows]
    2. Theory and Techniques of International Negotiations leading to International Agreements (2011-2018) [Professor E. Raftopoulos & MEPIELAN Centre Research Fellows]
TRAINING SCHOOLS AND SEMINARS

THE MEPIELAN CENTRE SIGNS A SSFA CONTRACT WITH UNEP/MAP FOR THE LAUNCH OF A TRAINING SCHOOL ON SUSTAINABLE GOVERNANCE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION

MEPIELAN Centre, represented by its Director Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos, and UNEP/MAP, represented by the Coordinator Ms. Tatjana Hema, signed a  Small Scale Funding Agreement (SSFA) on 22 November 2023 for the launching of a Training School as a first step on the educational programme on sustainable environmental  governance in the Mediterranean Region.

This project is an educational implementation of the UNEP/MAP Medium Term Strategy (MTS) 2022-2027 and directly contributes to the application of the MTS Enabling Programme 7 “For informed and consistent advocacy, awareness, education and communication” , rendering the Mediterranean  Region as “the first region in the world to develop a regional Strategy for Education on Sustainable Development” (MTS, para. 32). Contributing to several SDGs targets (in particular those under SDGs 4, 16 and 17), Programme 7 particularly focus on civil society engagement. The project is also an educational implementation of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) (Objective 6 – Governance and Objective 4 – Tackling climate change as a priority issue for the Mediterranean), and contributes to the implementation of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols (Article 13 “Scientific and technical cooperation”, Article 15 “Information and public participation” of the Barcelona Convention and Article 15 of the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).

As part of the Training Programme, the Training School is the first step towards the establishment of a Postgraduate Programme leading to a Master’s degree in sustainable maritime governance in the Mediterranean. The initiative for such a Training Programme has long been pursued by MEPIELAN at the Meetings and Conferences of the Parties to the Barcelona Convention and has been reflected in the Reports of these Meetings. The MEPIELAN Centre, as a UNEP/MAP Partner since 2013 and as a Non-Contracting Member of the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development (MCSD) from 2015 to 2021, within the Scientific Community Group of the 40-member reformed MCSD (Decision IG. 22/17), worked to promote the Training Programme within this UNEP/MAP advisory body.

The Training School will develop a broad and comprehensive knowledge of interdisciplinary methodology, understanding of processes and innovative approaches to sustainable governance within the UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention system. It will explore the creative connection of environmental law and environmental governance with political science, ecology, management, technology, biological science, climate science, economics and social sciences, as well as addressing the critical ethical dimension. In this context, it will create a high quality international network of expertise of international organisations, academics and students in this field and contribute to the visibility and impact of the Barcelona Convention system.

The thematic areas of the Training School programme will include the following:

  • The Barcelona Convention system for the protection of the marine environment and coastal areas of the Mediterranean
  • Specific Law and Governance Issues for Environmental Protection and Sustainability in the Mediterranean Region and their relation to the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Public Participation and Sustainability Governance in the Mediterranean Region: International Interlinkages
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Mediterranean
  • Investment and Environment in the Mediterranean: Legal, Political and Economic Perspectives

The Training School will be conducted by MEPIELAN Centre in cooperation with the European Public Law Organization (EPLO), activating the Memorandum of Understanding between MEPIELAN Centre and EPLO 2022, and with the support of the UNEP/MAP Secretariat. It is expected to take place in April 2024, and will be delivered on line and interactively. An advanced training platform will be built for this purpose. The Programme is addressed to a wide audience of students, young professionals from public and private institutions and NGOs working in the field of environment and sustainable development, as well as young diplomats.

Distinguished speakers and lecturers will participate in the Training School coming from collaborating Universities, Research Centres and Institutes, International Organizations and Academic Associations.

More Details about the Training School will be announced in due course.

  • MEPIELAN Centre Seminar Circle: The Art and Technique of International Negotiations, IDIS Lifelong Learning Programme, Seminar Circle, 30 May, 6, 13, 20 June 2013, IDIS, Athens, Greece

  • MEPIELAN Centre Seminar Circle: The Art and Technique of International Negotiations, IDIS Lifelong Learning Programme, Seminar Circle, 7, 14, 21, 28 June 2012, IDIS, Athens, Greece

  • MEPIELAN Centre: COST Training School on International Environmental Negotiation as a Governance Process, 23-27 November 2009, Glyfada Training Centre, Athens, Greece

  • MEPIELAN & MIO/ECSDE Mediterranean Seminar on the Legal Aspects of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, MIO/ECSDE Premises, 26-27 October 2006, Athens, Greece

  • First MEPIELAN Seminar on International Environmental Negotiation and its Application in the Mediterranean, Glyfada Conference Centre & Premises of the Mediterranean Action Plan /UNEP, 18-22 February 2002, Athens, Greece

ERT Digital, 8 Dec 2009

EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT

MEPIELAN Centre provides educational material and support for the following Postgraduate and Undergraduate Courses of
the Department of International, European and Area Studies, Panteion University of Athens

  • Postgraduate Courses:
    1. International Environmental Governance at the Global and Regional Level (since 2005) [Professor E. Raftopoulos & MEPIELAN Centre Academic Experts and Research Fellows]
    2. Theory and Technique of International Environmental Negotiation as a Governance Process (since 2005) [Professor E. Raftopoulos & MEPIELAN Centre Research Fellows]
  • Undergraduate Courses:
    1. International Environmental Law and the Mediterranean (since 2002) [Professor E. Raftopoulos & MEPIELAN Centre Academic Experts and Research Fellows]
    2. Theory and Techniques of International Negotiations leading to International Agreements (2011-2018) [Professor E. Raftopoulos & MEPIELAN Centre Research Fellows]
CONFERENCES & MEETINGS

FIRST REGIONAL TRAINING FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE AARHUS CONVENTION ACROSS THE MEDITERRANEAN ORGANIZED BY WES AND THE UNECE AARHUS CONVENTION SECRETARIAT

MEPIELAN Center presents its Proposal and Action for the Establishment of an Aarhus Centre in Greece

Athens, 14-15 November 2023

A first ever Regional Training dedicated to the Promotion of the Aarhus Convention in the whole of the Mediterranean was co-organized by the EU funded “Water and Environment Support (WES) in the ENI Neighbourhood South Region” project and the UNECE Aarhus Convention Secretariat, in Athens, Greece, on the 14th and 15th of November 2023.

In its efforts to promote Environmental Governance in the Mediterranean by encouraging the accession to and implementation of the Aarhus Convention, WES has joined forces not only with the UNECE Aarhus Convention Secretariat, but also the Barcelona Convention system, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development (COMPSUD), the Energy, Environment and Water Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA-UfM) and the MEPIELAN Centre, all of whom had the opportunity to share their experiences and plans.

The main purpose of this 2-day regional training, that is part of an ongoing WES Peer-to-Peer process (since February 2023), was to strengthen the implementation capacity of public authorities, country experts, NGOs and other stakeholders on the main pillars of the Aarhus Convention: access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to Justice, as well as on the application of the principles of the Aarhus Convention in international decision-making.

During her opening remarks, Ms Ella Behlyarova, Secretary to the Aarhus Convention, Environment Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), underlined that “the accession to the Aarhus Convention and its Protocol will drive the development of national legislation and practice, bringing positive changes that would otherwise not occur. Being a Party to such agreements will help to respond to numerous environmental challenges such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, air and water pollution, and ensure implementation of Agenda 2030, in particular its Goal 16, to the common standards”

The WES Team Leader, Prof. Michael Scoullos, expressed gratification and enthusiasm that the WES Partner Countries have shown concrete commitment and are making a genuine effort to embrace this challenging yet highly beneficial instrument – so crucial in achieving sustainable development in the Mediterranean region.

The 18 appointed high-ranking Peers from Ministries of Environment, Water, Foreign Affairs, Justice, etc. that came to Athens were very engaged in the discussions that followed the presentations and interactive exercises on the provisions of the Convention, its principles and practical implementation. Diverse experiences of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention were also shared and discussed.

Prof. Evangelos Raftopoulos, Director of MEPIELAN Centre, was the main speaker of the Session “Supporting Capacity Building and Implementation on the ground” on Day 2: 15 November 2023. He presented the topic “Aarhus Centre in Greece – A Case in Progress: Τhe MEPIELAN Initiative”.

 After a brief review of MEIPELAN’s actions so far in the international arena for the establishment of an Aarhus Centre in Greece hosted by MEPIELAN Centre (a series of online meetings with the Secretariat of the UNECE Aarhus Convention, the Office of the Coordinator of Economic and Environmental Activities of the OSCE (OCEEA), Aarhus Centres in Serbia and North Macedonia), and at the current delicate stage of the process of its activation in Greece, Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos focused his presentation on three pillars of the development of MEPIELAN’s Aarhus Centre, stemming from the combination of the Aarhus Centres Guidelines (2009) developed by the OSCE and the MEPIELAN Centre’s ideas and experience on participatory environmental governance. These pillars are:

  • Its Institutional Set-up – an NGO-based Aarhus Centre hosted by MEPIELAN, independent of Government, operating as an OSCE Project, and providing a bridging element with the competent public authorities, international organizations, academic institutions and civil society through its Governing Board structure (a Steering Committee of eleven members, and an Advisory Committee of seven members)
  • Its Geographical Focus – a national Aarhus Centre with regional scope, operating under the umbrella of the OSCE (OSCE Aarhus Centres Network) and UNEP/MAP (promoting the “Mediterranean Accession Agenda to the Aarhus Convention” project as a UNEP/MAP Partner and commissioned author of the foundational study of this project)

Its Specific Work Area – Supporting  the implementation of the three pillars of the Aarhus Convention in Greece, supporting the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in a transboundary context, building of negotiating capacity to promote the Aarhus Convention in international decision-making processes and fora, promoting participatory environmental governance-by-dialogue, providing a hub of participatory knowledge, promoting the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in the Barcelona Convention system, promoting the public trust approach to sustainability governance, and providing a platform for the protection of environmental defenders, promoting energy democracy and energy justice

1st MEETING OF PEERS AND EXPERTS ON PROMOTION OF THE AARHUS CONVENTION IN THE WHOLE MEDITERRANEAN

On-Line, 8-9 March 2023

MEPIELAN Centre, represented by its Director, Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos, participated in the 1st ON LINE MEETING OF PEERS AND EXPERTS ON PROMOTION OF THE AARHUS CONVENTION IN THE WHOLE MEDITERRANEAN. The event took place within the framework of the EU funded project “Water and Environment Support (WES) in the ENI Neighbourhood South Region”. The activity was organized by the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean; the Energy, Environment and Water Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA-UfM); the Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development (COMPSUD); and the Mediterranean Programme for International Environmental Law and Negotiation (MEPIELAN Centre), in cooperation with the Secretariat of the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention Secretariat and the Secretariat of the UNECE Aarhus Convention. The Meeting was facilitated by the WES Team Leader Prof. Michael Scoullos and 37 Peers from Ministries of the Environment, Foreign Affairs, Justice and key NGOs participated in the Meeting. This Peer-to-Peer (P2P) exchange, launched by the WES-EU, will last for at least one year, in order to support the effective accession of the Mediterranean States to the Aarhus Convention.

The meeting aimed at the promotion of the Aarhus Convention in the Mediterranean region and served as a an effective platform in two directions: first, presenting and discussing the importance of the findings and recommendations of the Foundation Discussion Document (FDD)for the Mediterranean Accession Agenda to the Aarhus Convention, authored by MEPIELAN Centre; second, sharing experiences of Aarhus Parties aiming at facilitating the promotion of the public rights to the environment and the eventual accession to the Aarhus Convention by the countries of the Mediterranean region. Representatives of Albania, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the European ECO Forum presented good practices and challenges associated with the implementation of the Aarhus Convention and showcased numerous benefits in that regard.

 

Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos, Director of MEPIELAN Centre, WES Expert, and FDD Scientific Coordinator presented, on 8 March 2023, an Overview and Recommendations  of the “Foundation Discussion Document (FDD)  for the Mediterranean Accession Agenda to the Aarhus Convention”, the product of  the research component of the Aarhus Project prepared by MEPIELAN Centre (see Publications – Foundational Documents).

In his PP presentation, Professor Raftopoulos, after making a reference to the conceptual and empirical elements of the methodology of the FDD, illustrated the strong governance structure and the prolific decisional process of the Aarhus Convention as a regime of international common interest. He unveiled and evaluated the insights, benefits opportunities and challenges for the Mediterranean Sates acceding to the Aarhus Convention and showcased the multitude of interlinkages with international structures and processes of the Aarhus Convention, as well as capacity building processes encapsulated into its operation, that shape up a determinative role for Parties and stakeholders in advancing participatory sustainability governance. He finally illustrated the proposal of the FDD to set in motion a structured “multilateralism in the accession process”, complementing the existing procedural bilateralism in accession, with the aim to deliver a political declaration of Mediterranean accession that would demonstrate the determination of the Southern Mediterranean States to expand the Aarhus Convention in the Mediterranean region, thus, facilitating a collective accession with regional characteristics.

 

Presentations and video showed during the meeting: 

https://www.wes-med.eu/activities_type/he-4-p2p-overall-environmental-governance-promotion-of-the-aarhus-convention-in-the-whole-of-the-mediterranean/

NINTH ENVIRONMENT FOR EUROPE MINISTERIAL CONCERENCE – CYPRUS

Sustainable Infrastructure, Sustainable Tourism, Education for Sustainable Development

5-7 October 2022, Nicosia, Cyprus

SIDE EVENT – 7 October 2022

MEPIELAN Centre, represented by its Director, participated in the prestigious 9th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference (Nicosia, Cyprus 5-7 October 2022) organized by the Republic of Cyprus with the support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) which provides the secretariat for the Environment for Europe process. The 9th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference has taken for the first time in the Mediterranean region and attracted some 1000 participants from the Ministries of Education and Environment from more than 70 countries, including representatives form international organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations and businesses. Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos was personally invited, as well as MEPIELAN Centre, by the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of the Cyprus Republic, and, on 7 October, he participated as a key expert speaker in the Side Event “Environmental Governance for Transforming our Planet – Promoting the Aarhus Convention in the whole of the Mediterranean Region” where he presented an Overview of the Foundation Discussion Document for the Mediterranean Accession Agenda to the Aarhus Convention, the product of the research component of the Aarhus Project prepared by MEPIELAN Centre (see Publications – Foundational Documents).

In his PP presentation, Professor Raftopoulos illustrated the strong governance structure and the prolific decisional process of the Aarhus Convention as a regime of international common interest and unfolded the multitude of international interlinkages and capacity building processes of the Aarhus Convention that shape up a determinative role for Parties and stakeholders in advancing sustainability governance. He finally proposed the pursuance of “multilateralism complementing individualism in the accession process” with the aim to deliver a political declaration of Mediterranean accession that would demonstrate the determination of the Southern Mediterranean States to expand the Aarhus Convention in the Mediterranean region.

The Co-organizers of the Side Event were:

  • The Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development (COMSUD)
  • The House of Representatives of Cyprus
  • The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM)
  • The Mediterranean Action Plan – Barcelona Convention Secretariat (UNEP/MAP)
  • The UNECE, Aarhus Convention Secretariat
  • The Mediterranean Programme for International Environmental Law and Negotiation (MEPIELAN Centre)
  • The Mediterranean Information Office foe Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO/ECSDE)
  • The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)

OECD ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE REVIEWS (EPR) – GREECE

Consultation Meeting with the OECD EPT Team

Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy

Athens, 27 June 2019

MEPIELAN Centre, represented by its Director, participated in the Consultation Meeting with the OECD Team entitled “OECD Environmental Performance Reviews –Greece”, organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy. Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos presented the “Report of MEPIELAN Centre to the OECD Team – MEPIELAN’s Contribution to the Progress towards Sustainable Development” analyzing the development and successful operation of the three collateral roles of MEPIELAN converging into this direction: its interdisciplinary and in-depth educational and training role, its innovative research role, and its distinguished international partnership role contributing directly to the progress towards sustainable development in the Mediterranean.

CONFERENCE: 17 GOALS TO CHANGE THE WORLD

17 Goals to Change the World

University of Piraeus – Jean Monnet Chair EduTRIP

24 October 2018

MEPIELAN Centre, represented by its Director, participated in the Conference on “17 Goals to Change the World”, organized by the University of Piraeus – Dept. of International & European Studies and the Jean Monnet Chair EduTRIP on the occasion of the celebration of the UN Day and the awareness raising of the academic community and the youth on the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development . Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos delivered a speech entitled “MEPIELAN Centre: Its Role and Innovative Initiatives for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals” presenting the mission and work of MEPIELAN with emphasis on the specific areas of MEPIELAN’s multifarious educational and research activities that contribute to the coherent implementation of SDGS 7,8,9,10,13,14,15,16,17.

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