The project proposal addressed the 7 South-Eastern European (SEE) countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Being contractual parties to the Energy Community, all of these countries have committed to undertake certain measures towards enhancing energy efficiency and mitigating climate change. This is for example demonstrated by the increasing number of signatories to the Covenant of Mayors (almost 80 by now). However, the progress is often slower than desired. 

The project STRONG SEE aimed at strengthening the role of civil society organizations, more concretely non-governmental organisations, in shaping the energy efficiency policies of the 7 target countries. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as representatives of public, have the potential to act as mediators between different sectors of society and relevant decision makers. At the moment, however, the NGOs in the SEE region typically lack resources, knowledge and capacities to act in the needed role to influence policy making, implementing and monitoring processes. Currently, environmental NGOs, and those dealing with cross-cutting issues, in the region are typically acting post-festum by undertaking visibility campaigns and pointing out to inadequate legislation and trying to stop adverse actions. However, while NGOs must play this role, it is of utmost importance that they also take part in argumentative policy development process showing their expertise and building their image as reliable and knowledgeable representatives of the public. For this segment, transfer of knowledge from experienced advocacy environmental NGOs would be of great benefit to the SEE region. 

The main objective of the project was thus the capacity building of non-governmental organisations as well as political decision makers in the 7 target countries on energy-efficiency as a corner stone of climate protection. The project plans involved more than 550 stakeholders all 7 target countries and reached many more by disseminating a brochure on better participation in the energy efficiency sector.

Energy and climate change


Matthias Grätz
Project manager
Tel.: 040/5330 7076

Project Partners

In total, 8 partners in Southeast Europe.


This project is supported by the German Federal Environment Foundation.