Enhancing the transparency and inclusiveness of the EU accession process

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.

This critical assessment will provide a basis for formulating recommendations for the EU institutions, national governments and parliaments as well as business, trade unions and civil society actors, on ensuring greater transparency and inclusiveness of the ongoing and upcoming accession negotiation processes. 

The opinion will also address the challenge of timely information sharing with the business community about legislative changes and expected costs of adjustment. Specific recommendations will relate to minimum standards of public communication, access to information and consultations with civil society expected from the governments of candidate countries as well as from the European Commission and the Council of the EU.