Revision of the existing national regulatory and legislative framework

This activity includes the review of the current systems and the drafting of recommendations on how to strengthen the legal framework for SEA and EIA. As appropriate, assistance in drafting legislative amendments will also be offered. The revision of national regulatory and legislative frameworks with regard to transboundary EIA and SEA has proved to be an efficient tool for identifying weaknesses and potential improvements.

The activities will include:

  • National legislative reviews of SEA and EIA, including recommendations describing necessary legislative, process and institutional improvements. Each review includes a period in-country examining legislation, procedures and practice and will build upon earlier reviews where still relevant, as well as the national implementation reports collected under the Espoo Convention. An international expert is assisted by a local counterpart expert (consultant), with review results being presented to government at a roundtable event or similar. Recommendations cover legislative, process and institutional improvements. The review is carried out as a joint activity between the government and the external legal expert; the commitment of the national authorities is therefore key for a successful project and they should play a significant and active role in the review.
  • Legal drafting for SEA/EIA legislation, including draft amendments to legislation and regulations, together with support for, and a strategy to promote, approval of such amendments. Drafting is supported in part by general guidance on enhancing consistency between the Convention and environmental assessment within the framework of State ecological expertise.
  • Sub-regional overview. The results of the previous and new national legislative reviews will be combined, providing a valuable tool for the partner countries in understanding the different approaches taken across the sub-region.


The existing environmental assessment legislation in many EaP countries, provides for environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures at the national and transboundary context, and contains elements of strategic environmental assessment (SEA). However, there were indications that gaps in legislation and practice prevented countries from conducting EIA and SEA procedures in line with the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) and its Protocol on SEA, as well as with the relevant EU legislation. A review of national legislative and other regulatory framework on EIA and/or SEA in these countries has been recently undertaken, which has proven an efficient tool for identifying areas of concern and improvement.


  • Promote the integration of EIA and SEA systems into the national legal, regulatory, and administrative frameworks of the partner countries.
  • Improve understanding for and acceptance of the necessary measures for efficient implementation of SEA and EIA among national stakeholders.


Increased number of EaP countries, Parties of the Protocol on SEA and the Espoo Convention.


Regional-level activities

National-level activities

Results achieved

A four hour session on practical considerations for developing national legislative frameworks for the application of SEA was held  at the “Subregional conference, presenting results on pilot project on post-project analysis with Belarus and Ukraine and capacity building on SEA” (15- 16 April 2014, Minsk).

Guidelines on developing national legislative framework on SEA are under development.

Armenia: Review of national legislative and institutional framework of SEA initiated, draft report is developed, the round-table meeting to discuss the results of the review organized (26 September 2014, Yerevan); Review of the national law on EIA and environmental expertize on request of the Espoo Convention Implementation Committee (IC) is developed

Azerbaijan: Review of national legislative and institutional framework of SEA  was discussed at the the round-table meeting to discuss the results of the report (28 August 2014, Baku) and will be completed by the mid October 2014; Assessment of the draft law on environmental assessment is prepared on request of the  IC.

Georgia: Development of the draft law on EIA and SEA initiated during the start-up workshop (25 - 26 August 2014, Tbilisi). The draft law will be based on the result of the 2014 SEA mapping exercise and the 2013 Review of legislation on environmental impact assessment of Georgia with regard to implementation of the Espoo Convention .

Moldova: Draft Law on SEA prepared and discussed at the National round-table meeting (29 July 2014, Chisinau). Support on drafting bylaws for the implementation of the EIA law is been provided.



Armenia and Azerbaijan: draft reports of the reviews of national legislative and institutional framework of SEA and opinion papers on draft EIA laws prepared.

Georgia: background documents for development of a draft Law on EIA and SEA in Georgia elaborated. Notably, Report on analysis of the existing elements and gaps in the national legislation of Georgia related to implementation of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment to the Espoo Convention (2014) and Review of legislation on environmental impact assessment of Georgia with regard to implementation of the Espoo Convention (2013) (see column 2 for links).

Moldova: new legislation on SEA drafted and discussed with the national stakeholders.

Regional level: numerous recommendations describing necessary legislative, process and institutional improvements developed for each country and incorporated into the draft guidance on developing national legislative framework.

ANNUAL PLAN 2014-2015

Regional-level activities

National-level activities

Expected results

Sub-regional conference to exchange experience in drafting SEA / EIA legislation and bylaws, barriers on adoption of the legislation and implementation of the pilot projects, October 2015 (Georgia).

Preparation of the sub-regional overview on application of the SEA and EIA in the participating countries (March – October 2015).


Armenia and Azerbaijan: Assistance to the drafting of EIA and SEA law (October 2014 – March 2015).

Belarus: Assistance to the drafting SEA provisions to the law on EIA (December 2014 – December 2015).

Georgia: Preparation of the draft law and relevant bylaws on EIA and SEA (October 2014 – October 2015).

Moldova: Preparation of the bylaws to support enforcement of the law on EIA and SEA (October - July 2015).

Armenia: Text proposals for amendments of the EIA law.

Azerbaijan: Text proposals to improve draft law on EIA and environmental expertize.

Belarus: Draft section on SEA to the law on EIA;

Georgia: Second draft of a new legal act on EIA and SEA is prepared;

Moldova: A number of bylaws to enforce EIA and SEA laws are prepared and submitted to the Parliament.

Action strategies to promote approval of these draft laws in selected countries.


Project OutputsArmeniaAzerbaijanBelarusGeorgiaRepublic of MoldovaUkraine

Legislative Review on SEA






Legislative review on EIA in a transboundary context



Legal drafting on SEAwill start early in 2016on-goingon-going


RUS (draft laws as of June 2014)
Legal drafting on EIA in a transboundary contextwill start early in 2016on-goingon-goingENG