Themis is an informal regional network of national authorities responsible for natural resources management and protection, and for the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, in particular on nature conservation, in EU candidate countries, potential candidates and countries with EU Association Agreements: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia. Croatia is a member of the network as an observer and provides expertise and experience in relation to the EU accession process.
The network’s mission is to protect the environment by improving the capacities of its members to implement and enforce legislation on natural resources and forestry, and to combat environmental crimes.
The Themis Network was established in November 2010. Its official launch was marked by the issuing of a joint declaration by the participating countries and the approval of the first multi-annual work programme (MAP) in the context of a conference on illegal logging and environmental crimes held in Budapest, Hungary. Activities implemented in the framework of the work programmes for 2012-2014 and 2014-2017 have been generously funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation. To read about activities and achievements in the 2012-2014 period, please visit the Themis Phase 1 website.
The network operates according to the principle of ownership by the member countries. The main guiding body is the Executive Committee, comprising the participating countries, the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) in the role of secretariat, and the donor countries. The working mechanisms of the Themis Network are defined in the Terms of Reference.
The REC acts as secretariat of the Themis Network and supports network operations by:
- managing and implementing the activities outlined in the MAP;
- reviewing the implementation of the MAP and reporting to the Executive Committee;
- preparing draft documents and reports for the Executive Committee;
- disseminating the network’s outputs and coordinating general requests for information;
- maintaining the network’s website and other communication tools;
- liaising with partner institutions and networks;
- providing administrative and technical support to the network and the Executive Committee; and
- fundraising for the continuous and sustainable operation of the network.
The secretariat works in cooperation with the network's operational focal points, which are the network's points of entry in its member countries. They provide regular input and recommendations to the secretariat.