Sep 11, 2023

Copyright: Trout55

Untreated sewage and waste waters are a main source of water pollution and also present a serious concern in some areas of the Western Balkan region. In particular, seepage of agricultural effluents into groundwater is the main source of groundwater pollution by nitrates and pesticides and of main concern in the whole of Europe and also in the Western Balkan region. EU4Green supports the Western Balkans in implementing the Nitrates Directive as the basis for protecting water resources, establishing good agricultural practices and monitoring water pollution.
Nitrates used in fertilizer and different pesticides used in agriculture enter the groundwater through leaching and reach surface water through runoff from agricultural fields. A high nitrate level makes water unsuitable for drinking. It also influences rivers, lakes and marine waters by disrupting their nitrogen levels, which causes the growth of algae. This has a strong effect on water systems and aquatic organisms, such as fish. The Nitrates Directive aims to protect water quality across Europe by preventing nitrates from agricultural sources that pollute ground and surface waters and by promoting the use of good farming practices.
The regional workshop on the implementation of the European Nitrates Directive will be held in Podgorica on 12 and 13 September and links two central topics of EU4Green: Depollution Water and Sustainable Agriculture. The main objectives of the workshop are to develop starting points for a continuous cooperation with the beneficiaries in the region, and to gain a better understanding of the status of implementation, priorities, challenges and next steps for bringing the Nitrates Directive in the Western Balkans to life. Austrian and Western Balkan experts for groundwater and surface water, agriculture and environment will discuss in Podgorica how to develop Codes of Good Agricultural Practice, draft Nitrates Action Programmes and how to adapt them to national requirements. The workshop also offers an opportunity for networking, exchange of experiences and knowledge transfer.


The Green Agenda is a comprehensive plan that seeks to achieve environmental sustainability and socio-economic transformation. It involves transitioning to a low-carbon economy, promoting renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and biodiversity conservation. Social equity, inclusivity, and sustainable consumption patterns are also emphasized to build a resilient and equitable future for all.
The EU4Green project supports the Western Balkans in their transition towards modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economies. Financed by the European Union and the Austrian government, EU4Green supports Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia in greening their economies in consultation with all relevant partners and in enhancing monitoring and reporting. The project is implemented by the Environment Agency Austria in collaboration with the governments, institutions, and EU Delegations in the Western Balkans, striving for a sustainable and prosperous future for the region.