UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release


Environmental agreement among seven countries of South-Eastern Europe signed 20 May

Geneva, 23 May 2008 -- Environment ministers and high-level representatives from seven countries of South-Eastern Europe adopted and signed an Agreement in Bucharest on 20 May that will provide for further implementation of the Espoo Convention. The seven countries that adopted and signed the Agreement are Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The Bucharest Agreement was signed during the fourth meeting of the Parties to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (also referred to as the Espoo Convention after the Finnish city where it was adopted in 1991), which took place from 19 to 21 May 2008 in Bucharest.

The Bucharest Agreement includes detailed provisions for consultations between the South-East European countries both sides of a border, concerning all major projects under consideration that might have an adverse transboundary environmental impact. The Agreement details appropriate means for providing information to authorities and the public, as well as opportunities to comment for both the countries and the public affected by the transboundary impact.

Bosnia and Herzegovina may join the Agreement later. Of the seven countries which signed the Agreement, Serbia is the most recent Party to the Espoo Convention, having acceded on 18 December 2007. Montenegro expects to become a Party to the Convention by the end of 2008.

For more information, please visit http://www.unece.org/env/eia/bucharest.htm or contact:

Mr. Wiek Schrage
Environment, Housing and Land Management Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Palais des Nations, Office 407
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Phone: +41 (0) 22 917 2448
Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 0107 or 917 0613
E-mail: wiecher.schrage@unece.org
Website: http://www.unece.org/env/eia/

Ref: ECE/ENV/08/P07