On 22 November, participants in the 17th regional seminar of ACP-EU economic and social interest groups adopted a declaration highlighting the potential of the blue economy as a key factor for development in many eastern and southern African countries. The event, hosted by the EESC in Mauritius, was also an opportunity for civil society representatives to call for a greater role for civil society in the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements and bilateral Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (SFPAs) and to acknowledge the role played by African and EU economic and social groups in the development of infrastructure.
Fachgruppe Außenbeziehungen (REX) - Related News
EESC criticises European Council decision to deny the opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is deeply disappointed about EU leaders' decision to further postpone opening accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania at the European Council of 17-18 October, due to the lack of unanimity between the Member States.
The ninth meeting of the EU-Serbia Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), that took place in Belgrade on 10-11 October, gathered members of the European Economic and Social Committee and representatives of Serbian civil society organisations (CSOs). The general agreement was that, despite the progress made in some areas, Serbia has still a long way to go to meet interim benchmarks in the field of rule of law and Copenhagen political criteria for its accession to the EU.
On 26 September, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) approved an own-initiative opinion to mark the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). In this opinion, the EESC acknowledges the important achievements of this initiative, but also calls for further reforms in the areas of democratisation and fundamental freedoms. The opinion insists on the need to strengthen the role of civil society and to provide credible EU membership prospects to EaP states.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted a high-level conference on 5 September to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership.
The President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Luca Jahier is in Shanghai for the 17th meeting of the EU-China Round Table, bringing together the EESC and the China Economic and Social Council (CESC).
The EU-Montenegro Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) held a meeting in Podgorica on June 7 to discuss the state of play in Montenegro's EU accession negotiations. The members of the JCC agreed on a joint declaration, which calls on the EU institutions to continue to be supportive of the EU enlargement policy after the European elections in May 2019 and on the Montenegrin authorities to produce tangible results in the areas of rule of law, media freedom, fight against organised crime and corruption.
The 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, in force since 1994, was the main topic of the EEA Consultative Committee meeting that took place on 23 and 24 May. This committee, which represents employers, workers and other civil society players of EEA member states, insisted on the importance of completing the internal market and taking into account its social dimension.
The 7th edition of the Western Balkans Civil Society Forum, which took place in Tirana on 16 and 17 April, concluded with a call for the next Commission to maintain the Western Balkans enlargement policy as one of its priorities in the interest of both the region and of the EU.
Civil society representatives from both the EU and Turkey called on Turkish authorities to undertake major reforms in the fields of rule of law and human rights as a prerequisite to resume accession negotiations with the EU. This was one of the main conclusions of the 38th meeting of the EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) held in Brussels on 8 and 9 April, which also agreed on the important role of the JCC as an open channel for exchanges at civil society level.