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Frontpage News 2013 Successful Polish-Norwegian partnership

Arm in arm: Joanna Huczko-Gruszczyńska, the Polish Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection and Bjørn Bjørnstad, Deputy Director General of the Norwegian Environment Agency. Photo: © FMO

Successful Polish-Norwegian partnership

The value for both parties was highlighted when the Polish-Norwegian partnership for improving environmental inspection was presented in the European Parliament.

Against the backdrop of revising the current EU framework on environmental inspections, a conference organised by the European Parliament’s intergroup on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development, was held at the European Parliament 25 September, bringing together representatives from the European Commission, business and industry, NGOs and European regulators to discuss how to overcome gaps in the area of environmental inspections.

Much of the attention was devoted to the successful EEA Grants supported partnership between the Norwegian Environment Agency and the Polish Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection in the previous funding period, 2004-2009. The aim of the project was to improve the enforcement and implementation of environmental legislation in Poland through improved efficiency of inspections.

Through the EEA Grants, and in cooperation with their Norwegian counterpart, new IT systems have been installed, facilitating registration of relevant entities, inspection plans, documentation, better follow-up and better and more targeted inspections. In addition to a stronger risk-based methodological approach put in place, the Grants have also provided crucial equipment, such as portable measuring devices.

Not a one-sided partnership

The Deputy Director General of the Norwegian Environment Agency, Bjørn Bjørnstad, stressed the bilateral aspect of the project:  

“The partnership has been valuable to us as well. The Polish input has offered a different vantage point and contributed to improve our system,” he explained.

Joanna Huczko-Gruszczyńska, representing the Polish Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection, agreed:

“The partnership was very useful for us. It has also encouraged cooperation in other areas,” she added.

The cooperation under the previous funding period now continues under the current funding period of the Grants. The current partnership between the Polish Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection and the Norwegian Environment Agency is one of four pre-defined projects under the Improving environmental monitoring and inspection programme in Poland. The pre-defined project is a continuation of the project implemented in the previous round.

In the other pre-defined projects the Polish Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection cooperates with The Norwegian Institute for Air Research in a project on air quality, and the Polish Office for Geodesy with the Cartography The Norwegian Mapping Authority in a project about mapping natural resources for use in spacial planning. The cooperation is emphasising the aim of the EEA and Norway Grants of strengthening the bilateral relations between the donor and the beneficiary states. 

All of the four pre-defined projects are now in the implementation phase.

About the programme

The Improving environmental monitoring and inspection programme has the total allocation of €15 million. The objective of the programme is to improve compliance with environmental legislation in Poland.

Read more about the programme here