President Nilsson intervened in a debate on the enlargement policy in the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) of the European Parliament on 30th May 2012.
He welcomed the draft report of MEP Maria Eleni Koppa (S&D) on Enlargement: policies, criteria and EU's strategic interests, which reflects some views of the EESC on the enlargement policy.
However, President Nilsson called for the EU acquis on social affairs and social and civil dialogues to have a stronger emphasis in the accession negotiations. He advocated for a higher role for civil society in the enlargement countries.
He asked the European Commission to provide more support to social partners, especially to the trade unions in the region. He finally stressed the ongoing cooperation of the EESC with civil society organisations of those countries and proposed to the AFET Chair to organise in the near future joint events between the European Parliament and the EESC together with their respective partners in the region.