Enlargement countries

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The EESC is actively engaged in the enlargement process of the EU and has developed a dual approach - regional and bilateral - for its relations with civil society organisations (CSOs) in the enlargement countries.

As far as the regional approach is concerned, the Western Balkans Follow-up Committee – a permanent internal body of the EESC – is the main instrument for coordinating the EESC's activities in this region. The Western Balkans Civil Society Forum, organised every two years, is part of the work of the Follow-up Committee.

The EESC also works bilaterally with countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey. On the basis of association agreements between these countries and the EU, in order to involve CSOs in the pre-accession and accession processes, the EESC has created three joint bodies with civil society representatives – with Turkey, Montenegro and Serbia. Each body is composed of an equal number of members from the EESC and the partner country and meets twice a year.

The EESC keeps up regular contacts and organises joint activities with the CSOs of enlargement countries with whom no joint body of civil society representatives has yet been established.

The work of the joint bodies is complemented by the preparation of EESC opinions on the pre-accession and accession processes of individual countries, as well as on topics of regional interest.

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Pour la 8e fois, le Comité économique et social européen (CESE) et le Monténégro tiendra le Comité de la société civile consultatif mixte (CCM) à Budva, au Monténégro. Le CCM est une plate-forme de la société civile établie entre le CESE et la société civile monténégrine. Il complète avec un point de la société civile de vue, le cadre institutionnel de l'UE relative à l'accord de stabilisation et d'association entre l'UE et le Monténégro. Cette institution conjointe permet aux organisations de la société civile des deux côtés pour surveiller les négociations d'adhésion du pays.


La 7e réunion du Comité Consultatif Mixte de la société civile UE-Monténégro se tiendra le 8 juillety au CESE à Bruxelles et abordera des questions telles que:

  • l’état d’avancement actuel dans les relations UE-Monténégro et du processus d’adhésion,
  • Le programme de connectivité dans les domaines de l’énergie et des transports
  • le chapitre 5 — Marchés publics
  •  l’état des relations industrielles et le développement des organisations de la société civile (OSC) au Monténégro
Staffan Nilsson

The EESC will keep on advocating for the enlargement process to go on, in an inclusive, transparent and fair manner. Any delay due to the current turmoil in the EU has to be seen as a chance for reaching a better level of preparedness when entering the EU. But for this opportunity to be seized, the EU needs to work side by side with civil society in the region.


President`s intervention at the Committee on Foreign Affairs (ATEF) meeting