International conference, Minsk, 28-30 May 2019


 W&EEnvironmental Knowledge and Policy Innovation between East and West 

 Lessons Learned and not? 




A conference to take stock of the transfer of expertise and policy innovation related to environmental management and governance between the European
Union and Eastern Europe and Russia.

The conference is organised by GRASS - EU governance of natural resources: geopolitics, regions and sectors (, together with
National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Pskov State University (Russia), and IALE Chapter in Belarus.

The latest conference updates, abstract submission and registration procedures are available from the conference web site

PskovSU EMU Erasmus+
NAS RB      

Background and objectives

The scope of the transfer processes of expertise and policy innovation related to environmental management and governance between the European Union and Eastern Europe and Russia is broad and includes direct, and indirect interactions, as well as intentional and unintended transfers of environmental governance knowledge and innovation. For instance:

  • EU neighbourhood policies and other cooperation and partnership mechanisms (EaP, common spaces with Russia, enhanced partnership and cooperation agreements, EU association agreements etc.)
  • Multilateral environmental agreements and treaties promoted by the EU and partly based on EU policies, in particular treaties of the Council of Europe, such as the European Charter of Local Self-Government, and UNECE, such as Air, Water, Industrial Accidents, Environmental Assessment and Public Participation conventions, and others like HELCOM
  • EU-driven or supported regional cooperation initiatives and programs (for instance Euroregions and INTERREG)
  • Сross-border cooperation between neighboring countries: top-down vs. bottom-up dynamics
  • Funded programs by EU institutions such as research or capacity building like the EU framework programs, H2020, INTAS, Tempus, Erasmus+, EuropeAid, Renewable Energy/Efficiency programs, as well as individual member states or regional organisations like the Nordic Council or Visegrad Group
  • EU-supported or promoted environmental standards, certification and verification systems, organisations and monitoring systems
  • International research panels, science-policy interfaces and assessments supported by the EU, such as IPBES, IPCC, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, FAO

All these mechanisms resulted in numerous policies, national legislation, administrative arrangements, cooperation mechanisms, management guidelines and practices, as well as sets of indicators, criteria and methods for monitoring, mapping, and research in general. However, the transfer of expertise has not been balanced, and not always did the expertise and policy innovation fit the context of the areas it has been transferred to.

This conference aims at presenting a comprehensive overview of the challenges in environmental knowledge transfer between the EU and its Eastern neighbour region, and to discuss the implications for environmental management, governance, research and education in Eastern Europe and Russia. It will also reflect on how global policies on sustainable development, like the Sustainable Development Goals impact the transfers or context.

Keynote speakers

  • Frank Biermann, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • Aleh Cherp, Lund University, Sweden
  • Ruben Mnatsakanian, Central European University, Hungary
  • Christine Fürst, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
  • Olga Likhacheva, Pskov State University, Russia
  • Indra Øverland, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Norway
  • Malte Timpte, Leibniz Museum of Natural History of Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Research, Germany
  • Alexander Prischepov, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Kalev Sepp, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia
  • Anna Sidarovich, National Academy of Sciences, Belarus
  • Alexander Sergunin, St.-Petersburg State University, Russia

Call for Sessions & Papers

We are calling for paper and session proposals addressing the conference theme, where relevant, in a broader international context, or based on local case studies. Priority will be given to submissions related to:

  • Biodiversity and water management and governance, including indicators, quality objectives and criteria, and research methods promoted by EU actors, and their applicability in biophysical and/or institutional contexts of partner countries
  • Energy security, management and governance, including incentive systems, financial and policy mechanisms, technological options
  • Urban planning and quality of urban environments, including nature-based solutions
  • Cooperation on environmental issues in the Baltic region and the Arctic
  • Environmental monitoring and research networks, assessments and reports, including the issues of transparency, legitimacy and allocation

We welcome proposals of sessions (for 120 minute time-slots) via the online submission system available from Proposals should include a title, an abstract of max. 400 words, the name of a chair, eventually a discussant, and 2-4 presenters.

We also welcome proposals for individual paper presentations which will be clustered in sessions of related research questions by the conference organization. Proposals with an abstract of max. 400 words can be submitted via the online submission system available from the site

The call for papers is open until 25 January 2019. All submissions will be reviewed by the conference organizers. The decision on acceptance will be communicated in early February 2019.

The Conference is endorsed by