Since 1988, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), through its Environmental Program for Central and Eastern Europe, has worked with partners in the region to develop more effective environmental protection systems and increase public participation in environmental decision making. Through the regional program, the Institute provides assistance with drafting environmental legislation, support for the implementation of region-wide initiatives, and study and training programs for environmental activists and other professionals.
The Institute has provided law-drafting assistance to lawyers, policymakers, and nongovernmental organizations in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria, as well as Ukraine, Russia, and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union. ELI has been actively involved in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe process for drafting a new international Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters and the “Sofia Initiative” on Environmental Impact Assessment in Central and Eastern Europe. ELI has worked with regional and international NGOs to support these initiatives and provide the tools and information needed to implement them effectively. ELI has provided training for judges and prosecutors in Ukraine and Hungary, and hosted numerous Visiting Scholars from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union at our offices in Washington.