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Der EWSA ist aktiv am Erweiterungsprozess der EU beteiligt und hat einen zweifachen – regionalen und bilateralen – Ansatz für seine Beziehungen zu den Organisationen der Zivilgesellschaft in den Erweiterungsländern entwickelt.

Der Begleitausschuss Westbalkan – ein ständiges Arbeitsorgan des EWSA – ist das wichtigste Instrument des regionalen Ansatzes zur Koordinierung der Aktivitäten des EWSA in dieser Region. Im Rahmen seiner Tätigkeit veranstaltet der Begleitausschuss alle zwei Jahre ein Forum der Zivilgesellschaft des Westbalkans.

Der EWSA arbeitet auch auf bilateraler Basis mit den Ländern des Westbalkans und der Türkei zusammen. Auf der Grundlage der Assoziierungsabkommen zwischen der EU und der Türkei, Montenegro und Serbien hat der EWSA mit diesen drei Ländern gemeinsame Gremien mit Vertretern der Zivilgesellschaft eingerichtet, um die Organisationen der Zivilgesellschaft in die Heranführungs- und Beitrittsprozesse einzubeziehen. Jedes dieser Gremien setzt sich zu gleichen Teilen aus Mitgliedern des EWSA und des Partnerlandes zusammen und hält zweimal jährlich eine Sitzung ab.

Der EWSA steht in ständigem Kontakt mit den Organisationen der Zivilgesellschaft in den Erweiterungsländern, mit denen noch kein gemeinsames Gremium aus Vertretern der Zivilgesellschaft eingerichtet worden ist, und organisiert gemeinsame Aktivitäten mit ihnen.

Ergänzend zur Tätigkeit der gemeinsamen Gremien erarbeitet der EWSA Stellungnahmen zum Heranführungs- und Beitrittsprozess einzelner Länder sowie zu Themen von regionalem Interesse.

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verabschiedet on 10/07/2014
500 -
Jul 09, 2014 Jul 10, 2014

This own-initiative opinion will draw upon the first-hand experiences of the non-state actors (civil society, business and trade unions) engaged in the accession negotiations between Croatia and the EU over the period 2005-11, as well as experiences of EESC members who have been engaged in the work of Joint Consultative Committees (JCCs) with accession countries over the past seven years (Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Montenegro) as well as the Western Balkans Follow-up Committee.

Enhancing the transparency and inclusiveness of the EU accession process

verabschiedet on 21/01/2014
495 -
Jan 21, 2014 Jan 22, 2014

The EESC welcomes the special attention devoted to drawing up a European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), in order to support cohesion and competitiveness in the light of challenges that cannot be satisfactorily resolved by single regions or countries through the usual means. The EESC believes that EUSAIR must adopt a comprehensive programme with an action-oriented list of projects and schemes, and strongly recommends that better use be made of the private sector's potential to attract investment (both local and international) and to create business opportunities. Simultaneously, the strategy should include a stronger social dimension, in order to better support inclusive growth in the Adriatic and Ionian region.

EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR)

verabschiedet on 10/07/2013
491 -
Jul 10, 2013 Jul 11, 2013

The opinion should take stock of the current situation of civil society in Serbia (legal environment, relations with the authorities, situation of social and civil dialogues) and propose recommendations for possible EU action in this field. The opinion will provide an opportunity to get the views of Serbian civil society organisations in the course of a study visit to Serbia.

The role of civil society in EU-Serbia relations


The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has strongly supported the enlargement of the European Union to the six Western Balkans countries provided they fulfil all the necessary criteria for membership. In the aftermath of the Council's non-decision to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia in October 2019, we have reacted swiftly by adopting, on 31 October, a Resolution expressing our profound disappointment by the lack of unanimity from the Member States. The EESC has since been committed to working closely and intensively with the civil society in the Western Balkans to support and reassure them that their place is in the European Union.


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.


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.


The importance of Social Dialogue, the role of employers' organisations, the economic situation in the Balkan countries, progress in the accession process and current political challenges:  these were main topics of the discussions at the Balkan Employers' Round Table that took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 22 March 2017. The event brought together representatives of employers' organisations from former Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia).

Press Release
Reference number: 

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.