CEKOR (Center for Ecology and Sustainable Development) is a member of CEE Bankwatch. Its activities are primarily focused on preventing the expansion of the Kolubara complex (and, to a lesser degree, the Kostolac basin), as well as fair resettlement practices. Since 2012, it has been a patron of the Srpski Centar Ekologije (Serbian Ecology Center) NGO, whose president is Željko Stojković. This NGO has now been working independently since 2014, though they still collaborate with CEKOR.
CEKOR does not focus on the direct opposition toward existing (or planned) open-pit mines, but rather on the fair resettlement of inhabitants. The group works on legislation problems, focusing on the appropriate national and international regulations which affect inhabitants’ compensation. They believe that this is the best way of stopping the expansion of mining in Serbia, as the compensations are high enough to stop it being profitable for companies to invest in the development or building of new mines. They are awaiting, without too much expectation, for the arrival of a government climate policy in 2016. They believe the European Parliament is an important organization, which can support NGO efforts, but also that the European Commission gives excessive support to business. In their opinion, the government did nothing to implement the decisions of the Energy Community nor to bring the country closer to EU membership. They brought our attention to the fact that the equipment for open-pit mines in Serbia was sent from Poland. They also stated that there is a larger problem with lignite in Kosovo and Montenegro than in Macedonia. Another important country here is coal-powered Albania.
Position on the International Coalition project “Development Yes – Opencast Mines No”:
- both CEKOR and the Srpski Centar Ekologije are interested in collaborating; they want to remain in contact with us and to be informed of the project’s progress;
- CEKOR believes that our project should function at the level of the European Parliament, focusing primarily on human rights, climate protection, environmental protection, and lastly, on energy;
- countries we should take into consideration for the project are: Kosovo, Montenegro, and Albania.