New Year’s interview with Mrs. Aleksandra Imširagić-Đurić, Assistant Minister

The Ministry of Environmental Protection is working intensively on improving the process of integrated permits issuance

IED Serbia: The cooperation between the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the IED Serbia Project has yielded many significant results, how do you evaluate that cooperation and what would you single out as the most significant results achieved? 

Mrs. Imširagić-Đurić: Our multiannual, high-quality and continuous cooperation has yielded good results and progress in this area, as well as capacity development, acquisition of new knowledge, exchange of experiences and examples of good practice in this multidisciplinary field, which requires constant learning. Project support includes the provision of professional and technical assistance to competent authorities and companies in the implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive to reduce the impact of industrial emissions on the environment and human health. The Project also supports the preparation of draft integrated permits for selected companies, as well as in the improvement of laws and bylaws through the transposition of the Directive. It also makes a significant contribution to the preparation of the Negotiating Position in the field of industrial pollution. The Project provided support in preparation of the Directive Specific Implementation Plan (DSIP), which was successfully completed and which makes a part of Negotiating Position for Chapter 27 – Environment and Climate Change, Cluster 4, related to the Green Agenda and Sustainable Connectivity. Technical support has been provided to competent authorities in the preparation of draft integrated permits. Training courses have been delivered to the IPPC unit staff, as well as to the environmental protection inspection, cooperation has been established with relevant institutions that enable investments in cleaner technologies, and activities carried out to raise awareness on environmental pollution. The Project also includes activities for students, which is important for transfer of knowledge and experience, as well as for development of new experts who will contribute to sustainability in this area, and hopefully in achieving innovative solutions.

IED Serbia: What are the Ministry’s plans for 2023 in the area of industrial pollution control?

Mrs. Imširagić-Đurić: The Ministry seeks to improve the process of issuing integrated permits. The first step towards this is drafting the new Law and transposing the Industrial Emissions Directive. The first activity is to conduct an ex-postanalysis, which has already started. The coming 2023 will be focused on the process of drafting laws and bylaws, as well as on the joint work of all key target groups in this area, searching for the best solutions. The plan is to form a Working Group and conduct several public consultations that will enable interactive exchange of information and significant impact on the drafting process. We will continue to update the list of operators so that we can have an insight throughout the year into changes and monitor the real situation in the field. It is also planned to continue training courses to strengthen the capacities, and to create conditions for hiring new staff. With the support of the Project, coordination has been established between the support in updating the applications together with obtaining necessary  documentation and drafting the permits, which we believe in 2023 will improve the situation regarding the number of annually issued permits. In addition to the activities aimed at improving the IPPC-related laws and bylaws, the adoption of Best Available Techniques (BAT) through innovation and green transition should continue. It is important to point out awareness raising activities, interest and knowledge of the public about the Directive and timely participation in the process of issuing integrated permits.

IED Serbia: How can IED Serbia project contribute to the realisation of these plans and improvement of the process of issuing integrated permits in Serbia?

Mrs. Imširagić-Đurić: Through connection and professional cooperation with various institutions and competent authorities, which increases the efficiency of the process of issuing integrated permits and improves the industrial pollution prevention and control. This also includes support and guidance for operators in completing the necessary documentation when submitting the application, as well as work on considering the possibility of simplifying the procedure and the layout of the permit itself. Continuation of training courses in order to further strengthen capacities both at local level and national levels of jurisdiction for issuing integrated permits, but also key support to operators through professional cooperation and strengthening of their capacities, exchange of information and continuous monitoring of current affairs in this area are important to mention. Also, the support is reflected in the preparation of technical documentation for the updated Negotiating Position.

The project Info Centre is also an important tool for awareness and knowledge raising, as well as for increasing the level of interest among different target groups included in this project. It primarily has a role in informing all stakeholders about Best Available Techniques, regulations, available funds and other related topics, as well as in creating manuals, brochures and other educational materials that will make available necessary knowledge in the field of industrial pollution to all stakeholders.