Vakarų Balkanai

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  • The EESC: 

    • recommends that the Commission issue clear and transparent guidance on how to apply the proposed conditionality package and also reiterates the importance of ensuring that the EU's focus on stability and geopolitical interests does not come at the expense of the rule of law and democracy;
    • asks the Commission to support candidate and potential candidate countries in evaluating both the advantages and drawbacks of early market integration, identifying those that are adversely affected and implementing customised mitigation measures;
    • reiterates the importance of regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations throughout the EU accession process and welcomes the focus in the Commission's proposal on developing the Common Regional Market (CRM).
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    The high-level civil society conference on youth policy in the Western Balkans, hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), highlighted the key role of young people for the future of the region and called for their active involvement in policy-making. 

  • 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.

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    The EESC's Western Balkans Civil Society Forum, which took place in Skopje on 30 September and 1 October, put the spotlight on the need for a clear EU accession perspective for the region and the role civil society should play in this process.

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    At its March plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted a debate with Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, to discuss the state of play of the accession of the Western Balkan partners. EESC members showed their convincement that integrating the Western Balkan partners in the EU is a geostrategic investment in peace and economic growth.

  • 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    EU accession remains a key motivation for reforms in the countries of the Western Balkans

    The enlargement of the EU, and in particular the spread of its democratic values and legal standards to the Western Balkan region, is in the interests of both the Western Balkan countries and the EU, insists the European Economic and Social Committee in its opinion on the Economic and social cohesion and European integration of the Western Balkans, adopted at its plenary session on 19 April.

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    The EESC held the 6th Western Balkans Civil Society Forum in Sarajevo on 10-11 July. Participants adopted a Final Declaration calling for increased media freedom, opening the doors of the Western Balkans to EU enlargement, the implementation of migration policies and increased employment opportunities, and working on women's rights. EESC President Georges Dassis opened the Forum by saying "The goal that everybody should strive for is a lasting peace among countries that went through terrible times not so long ago, and EU accession is there to anchor peace in their relations". He added: "European integration is...