Vision!

The European Green Belt, our shared natural heritage along the line of the former Iron Curtain, is to be conserved and restored as an ecological network connecting high-value natural and cultural landscapes while respecting the economic, social and cultural needs of local communities.

 

 

Governance

Coordination Group

From 2011until 2014 the Regional Coordinators for the Central European Green Belt (BUND) and the Balkan Green Belt (EuroNatur) implemented the project “Advancing the European Green Belt Initiative” supported by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation with funds from the German Environmental Ministry. Focus of the project was the long-term coordination, financing and communication of activities and stakeholders in the 24 countries along the European Green Belt.

As part of the project a Coordination Group was established in 2012 in order to take over the overall steering of the European Green Belt Initiative. The Coordination Group brought together different representatives from all regions in order to follow a participative approach and to reflect the diversity of the European Green Belt:

  • 4 Regional Coordinators (Fennoscandia, Baltic Region, Central Europe, Balkan)
  • 4 National Focal Points (one representing each region)
  • 4 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) (one from each region)
  • IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature 

The tasks of the Coordination Group are specified in Terms of Reference and comprise amongst others:  

  • to plan and organize the Pan-European meetings
  • to keep a record of relevant activities along the entire Green Belt
  • to inform all interested parties about new developments
  • to develop and implement a joint communication strategy
  • to develop a sustainable financing scheme for the coordination group
  • to raise the profile of the initiative
  • to develop a branding strategy

The Coordination Group was chaired by EuroNatur, Regional Coordinator Balkan Green Belt.

Since the beginnings of the European Green Belt Initiative in 2003 the continuity of work for and activities within the initiative was not always given due to its entire dependence on project funding. This put the long-term existence of the initiative at risk. During the 6th Pan-European Green Belt Conference in Mavrovo in June 2012 the participants concluded that options to establish a formal organization need to be explored.

Based on the mandate given in Mavrovo the Coordination Group explored different opportunities for an organizational model. Various organizational models have been developed in detail and their pros and cons have been assessed by an external consultant. The results of this process have been presented during the 7th Pan-European Green Belt Conference in Berlin in May 2013.

European Green Belt Association e.V.

After a thorough consultation process within the Coordination Group as well as with the active partner organizations at the European Green Belt an association has been identified as most appropriate organizational model for the European Green Belt. It is a member-driven organization and thus reflects best the principle of democratic participation that characterizes the collaboration along the European Green Belt.

During the 8th Pan-European Green Belt Conference in Slavonice, Czech Republic, in September 2014 the European Green Belt Association e.V. was founded, which is now responsible for the governance of the European Green Belt Initiative. The well-proven structure of the Coordination Group was transferred as far as possible into the Board of the European Green Belt Association.