EU Environment Academy

Would you like in-depth knowledge of EU accession and integration of the EU acquis within the environmental area? During 2023, the Swedish EPA in collaboration with European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) will launch a second edition of the online course “EU Environment Academy”.

Overview of course topics  

The course will be divided into three modules designed to cover the entirety of the EU acquis under Chapter 27 on Environment, including the process of accession negotiations.

General knowledge of EU institutions, treaties, and legislation, including how directives and regulations work. The steps of EU enlargement, approximation, and accession, including the EU screening and negotiation processes. Detailed study of Chapter 27 and its included directives, e.g., directives concerning nature protection, waste management, water, air quality, and environmental information.  

See below on this page for a detailed description of each module. 

Course details  

Course period: Early April – December 2023.   

Online:  The course will take place online, via Zoom. Two physical meetings are planned during the year, one in the Western Balkans in early autumn, and one in Luxembourg/Brussels towards the end of the course, including study visits to relevant EU institutions. An online educational platform with all related course documents will be provided. 

Course language: English. 

Workload and course layout: The course is not a university course, but the layout and workload are similar to around 10 ECTS, equating to around 280 hours in total. Expect to spend around 10 hours per week for the course, including online lectures, assignments, and self-studies. There will be a summer break in August. Participants will be given a diploma at the course end, after finishing and passing all modules.

Cost:  The course is free of charge for all participants, the Swedish EPA covers all course fees. All costs related to the physical meetings will also be covered by the Swedish EPA. However, we expect your employer to allocate worktime for the course, in part or in full, and to provide technical equipment, such as computer, web-camera, stable internet connection etc.

Literature: All literature needed for the course will be in digital form, and EIPA will provide all necessary reading material on the online platform once the course has started. 

More in-depth programme of the 2023 course (pdf 467 kB)

Printable poster about the course, for advertising and information (pdf 282 kB)

Who can apply? 

Anyone in the Western Balkans EU candidate countries and potential candidate countries, working in the environmental field within governmental agencies and other institutions. This could include ministries, central government agencies or regional/local authorities, as well as NGOs/CSOs where EU accession matters have a large impact on their daily work.  Also, university students at advanced level within the field of EU accession and/or environment might be considered.

Are there more prerequisites for the course? 

As above, plus at least a bachelor’s degree from university within related fields, and very good knowledge in English (corresponding approximately to a B2 level and above, according to CEFR*). The English criteria is of great importance, since the course will be very interactive with the lecturers. Hence, very good knowledge in English is essential, both speaking, reading, and writing.  

How do I apply? 

Please send a Letter of Intent to us (max two A4 pages) explaining where you work, how your work is related to EU approximation, your knowledge within the environmental field in general, your academic merits and what motivates you to take this course. E-mail address for applications:

How do we select the participants? 

Through the Letter of Intent sent to us. The maximum number of participants for this course is set to around 30. Priority will be given to younger participants in the beginning of their professional career, although we strive for a mixed group regarding age and experience. We aim to have the selection of participants ready by March 17th. If selected, participants have to submit a confirmation from their employer, stating that they will be given time during working-hours to take the course and participate in webinars/lectures.

When do I have to apply? 

Last day for application is March 8th, 2023.  

Module 1: Defining the EU acquis and the EU legal and institutional framework 

This first module will provide the participants with a comprehensive overview of the functioning of the EU, both from the perspective of the institutional framework and from the legal architecture of the EU. The institutional aspect will aim at clearly presenting the different institutions, bodies and agencies of the EU and specifying their roles, as well as their interaction with the authorities of Member States and consequently also the authorities of a candidate country. The legal perspective will focus on explaining the EU norms and acts, namely: primary law (Treaties), secondary law (legislative acts and acts of executive nature) and to a certain extent non-binding acts (communications, conclusions, resolutions, reports, etc.). Fundamental principles such as primacy and direct effect of EU law will also be covered. Finally, module one will be comprised of online lectures, but also practical case-studies in groups and self-studies, assignments, and exercises. Module 1 will run between early April until late May 2023.

Module 2: Understanding the Accession process 

Building on the first module, the second module will cover the EU enlargement policy and new methodology, the approximation strategy, and the accession negotiations. Special attention will be given to the screening process, as well as the structure and process of the accession negotiations. This module aims at strengthening of the ability of national civil servants and other public employees to prepare for and participate in the accession negotiations. Module 2 will run between early June to the third week of July 2023. 

Module 3: Chapter 27 of the EU environmental acquis  

The third and final module will cover all directives and regulations under Chapter 27 (EU environmental acquis), thus providing the participants with a complete overview of EU Environmental legislation which candidate and potential candidate countries need to integrate into their national systems.

The module will cover horizontal legislation (such as environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment, the three pillars of the Aarhus convention) as well as sectoral legislation (waste management, water protection, biodiversity, air quality etc). A particular attention will be dedicated to Ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (Directive 2008/50/EC), Nature protection, covering the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) and the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), both establishing the Natura 2000 network and topics related to protected areas/national parks, and finally the first pillar of the Aarhus Convention, the access to environmental information (Directive 2003/4/EC).

In addition, a part of this module will be dedicated to the legislation on climate change, with a particular focus on the importance of the European Green Deal, including the links with other chapters (such as Chapter 15 on Energy, and Chapter 11 on Agriculture). Finally, Gender Equality, Equity and Environment will also be covered in this module. Module 3 is expected to run between early September to mid-December 2023.

After the course

This course prepares participants for professional activities with qualified positions in in national, regional, and local government agencies, in various interest organisations and international organisations. The programme develops the participants’ ability for understanding the entirety of the EU acquis under Chapter 27 on Environment, including the process of accession negotiations. It will strengthen their ability to independently solve problems and to follow the development of knowledge within the EU. The programme provides both width and depth within the field of EU approximation and develops the participants’ skills in actually understanding the procedure of joining the European Union, as well as the obligations of being an EU member state.

An alumni network will be initiated after the course. This will consist of tailor-made seminars on EU accession as a follow-up to the course, it will foster dialogue and draw on the regional exchange within the Western Balkans this course creates, and it will create a platform for participants to maintain contact with the course group after the course has ended.

The European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) is a highly accredited educational institution, specialized in EU legislation and EU approximation matters. As one of the longest-standing experts in EU public affairs, they have 40 years of experience in training public administration officials in Member States, countries applying for EU membership, the European Commission, and other EU institutions. 

EIPA’s core mission is to provide a mix of deep insights and practical knowledge about EU policies to all professionals related to EU public affairs, with the key objective of further improving their skills and capabilities for efficient policy management. With almost 20 years of presence in the Western Balkan countries, the EIPA are well-versed with the region and the different stages of association with the EU and preparation for EU Membership that each of the countries finds itself in. 

Read more about EIPA: European Institute of Public Administration (

About the teachers

Igor Dizdarevic has over 12 years of experience of training civil servants and public officials from the EU Institutions, EU Member States and EU Accession countries. His main tasks consist of researching and lecturing in EU affairs and EU law, with a particular focus on EU environmental law and the four freedoms of movement, and certain aspects of social policy linked to the internal market.   

Igor’s professional experience includes positions as legal researcher and lobbyist on EU environmental law and policy for a major French environmental company in Brussels. He has also provided consultancy services for the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, designing training and drafting guides, and manuals for national officials in EU Member States and neighbouring countries. 

Igor holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in International Law from Jean Moulin Lyon III University. He also holds a bilingual French/Spanish Master’s degree from the Institut d’Etudes politiques de Paris (Sciences Po, Paris) with a focus on EU affairs and public administration.

Igor Dizdarevic
Igor Dizdarevic
Senior Lecturer, EIPA Luxembourg

Petra Jeney has worked at EIPA since 2012 as a Senior Lecturer for civil servants and public officials from EU Institutions, EU Member States and EU Accession countries. Her areas of expertise include the area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union; EU judicial cooperation, EU family law; EU asylum and immigration law, EU fundamental rights protection and constitutional law issues related to the European Union. 

At EIPA she oversees training and consultancy for the judiciary and other legal professionals as well as officials from the national administrations and EU institutions in relation to European Union’s Area of Freedom Security and Justice, mostly judicial cooperation in the European Union as well as undertaking studies and preparing briefing notes on such topics under various contracts for the European Parliament and European Commission. In September 2021, Petra was appointed Director of EIPA Luxembourg. 

She also teaches at Eötvös Loránd University as an Associate Professor. 

Before joining EIPA, Petra was head of department at the Ministry of Justice of Hungary where she was responsible for judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters in the EU. In 2011 she played a leading role in the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union in the area of judicial cooperation, including chairing the Coordinating Committee in the area of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. 

Petra studied law at the Eötvös Loránd University, in the Faculty of Law, Budapest. She continued her training at the University of Nottingham where she was awarded an LLM in European law. She received her PhD in Legal Studies from the Central European University in 2007.

Petra Jeney
Dr. Petra Jeney
Senior Lecturer and Director of EIPA Luxembourg

Wolfgang Koeth is a Senior Lecturer at EIPA Maastricht, specializing in EU external relations, Common Commercial Policy (CCP) and external financial instruments. Before joining EIPA in 2009, Wolfgang was Team Leader at the EU office in Pristina, in charge of implementing the European Commission’s assistance in the rule of law sector. Prior to the 2004 enlargement, he worked as a Political Advisor and Programme Manager within the EC Delegation in Vilnius and as a Lecturer in European Affairs at the University of Vilnius. He also spent some years at the European Parliament as a political advisor, specializing in the EU’s relations with its eastern neighbors. 

Wolfgang is a graduate of the Institute of Political Studies at the Robert Schuman University in Strasbourg. He also holds a degree in Russian Studies from the French National Institute of Eastern Languages and Cultures (INALCO) in Paris, and a degree in French and German Comparative Studies from the Nouvelle Sorbonne.

Wolfgang Koeth
Wolfgang Koeth
Senior Lecturer, EIPA Maastricht

Sabina Lange is Senior Lecturer at EIPA, and a Senior Fellow of Maastricht University. She is also Associate Professor in International Relations at the University of Ljubljana. Sabina specializes in decision-making in the EU and in interinstitutional relations, in particular in external action policies and with regard to delegated and implementing acts. Since 2009 she has been training Member States’ officials in programmes for preparation of future rotating Council presidencies and has given regular courses in the European External Action Service, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the General Secretariat of the Council and EU agencies. She has been a consultant for the European Parliament and the European Committee of the Regions. Her current research focuses on delegated and implementing acts. 

Sabina has published several books, academic articles, book chapters and think-tank pieces on the Council of the EU, the role of the rotating Council Presidency, delegated and implementing acts, and institutional issues in EU external action and with security and foreign policy issues related to the Western Balkans as well as on Slovenian foreign and European policies.

Sabina Lange
Dr. Sabina Lange
Senior Lecturer, EIPA Maastricht

Ralf Jülich is an expert in EU environmental law with more than 25 years of academic and consulting professional experience in the field of EU environmental and climate protection law and policy related to transposition and implementation of the environmental acquis. He is a Senior Lecturer at EIPA and has since his start at EIPA in 2009 accumulated more than 12 years of intensive training experience for civil servants and public officials form the EU Institutions, EU Member States and EU Accession countries. Beside his role at EIPA, Ralf has served as a legal expert for over 15 countries, including various countries in the Western Balkan region such as Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is currently a Legal Expert for Moldova, supporting the Moldovan EU approximation process and alignment of Moldovan environmental law with the EU acquis. 

Ralf has studied EU and international law at University of Edinburgh and holds a First Legal State Exam from University of Münster and a Second Legal State Exam (equivalent to a Master’s degree in Law) from the High Court in Bremen.

Ralf Jülich
Ralf Jülich
Senior Lecturer, EIPA Luxembourg

Juan Diego Ramírez-Cárdenas Díaz is a Senior Lecturer specialised in EU administrative law, with a focus on regulatory affairs and the enlargement process.

Juan Diego
Juan Diego Ramírez-Cárdenas Díaz
Senior Lecturer, EIPA Luxembourg

Contact information

For general questions about the course, please send an e-mail to: 

Responsible at Swedish EPA for this course: 

Kristian Silver  
+46 10 698 17 52 

Jessica Henecke Dahl  
+46 10 698 14 54 

Alma Oddmar
+46 10 698 10 45

*CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) refers to the standardised European framework for measuring language proficiency. If you are unsure of your level, you can assess it through the following link: 

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