Coal regions in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and the EU are invited to join an exchange programme to accelerate just local energy transitions. The programme is an opportunity for regions to start direct, one-to-one dialogues, connect with different stakeholders, learn from each other, and transfer knowledge.
The exchange programme is part of the Initiative for coal regions in transition in the Western Balkans and Ukraine. The initiative is implemented by the European Commission together with six collaborating international partners: the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Energy Community Secretariat, Poland’s National Fund for Environment Protection and Water Management, and the College of Europe in Natolin.
The call for applicants who wish to join the peer exchange programme was launched at the initiative’s annual meeting on 24 June. Coal regions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, and the EU are invited to participate in the exchange programme. EU regions that are former coal regions, or are frontrunners in relevant fields (e.g. renewable energy technology, smart specialisation) are also welcome to apply.
Participating regions will be paired based on their interests and expertise, and will select topics relevant to coal phase-out to be explored in-depth. Priority will be given to forming pairs made up of one coal regions from the Western Balkans or Ukraine and one coal region from the EU. However, this is flexible and needs-based.
All participating regions will benefit from funded study visits, knowledge exchange, and expert support. In addition to tailored expert support, regions will access advice from their peers through hands-on learning opportunities, and will gain access to tools and support to help them reflect on and evaluate their transitions so far, and map out their next steps.
Interested applicants are invited to apply by 15 September 2021. Information on eligibility and application process is available at the programme’s webpage.
For more information, please contact exchangeWBUA@coalregions.eu
 The designation of Kosovo is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence