At the request of the future Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU (January-June 2018), the EESC was asked to prepare an exploratory opinion on the challenges and priorities countries of the Western Balkans are facing in the European integration process, as well as in the area of economic and social cohesion. Western Balkans will be one of the policy priorities of the Bulgarian presidency and a Western Balkans Summit is scheduled to take place in May 2018 in Sofia.
At its plenary session on 16 July 2009 the European Economic and Social Committee, acting under Rule 29(2) of its Rules of Procedure, decided to draw up an own-initiative opinion on Transport policy in the Western Balkans. The Section for External Relations, which was responsible for preparing the Committee's work on the subject, adopted its opinion on 4 March 2010. The rapporteur was Mr Zoltvány. At its 461st plenary session, held on 17 and 18 March 2010 (meeting of 17 March), the European Economic and Social Committee adopted the following opinion by 132 votes to 2, with 4 abstentions.
To secure a more prosperous future for their citizens, Western Balkan governments need to address the problems encountered by young people, who hold the key to such a future. Sufficient and transparent budget allocations for youth policy development and the inclusion of young people in the EU accession process are a prerequisite for facilitating positive changes and improving the situation of young people in the region.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Serbia held the 10th meeting of their Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) in Brussels on 10 March, adopting a joint declaration by majority on 31 March. JCC members called on the EU institutions to take better account of civil society's role and to strengthen its involvement in monitoring Serbia's accession process and holding authorities to account.