The ninth meeting of the EU-Serbia Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), that took place in Belgrade on 10-11 October, gathered members of the European Economic and Social Committee and representatives of Serbian civil society organisations (CSOs). The general agreement was that, despite the progress made in some areas, Serbia has still a long way to go to meet interim benchmarks in the field of rule of law and Copenhagen political criteria for its accession to the EU.
Secção das Relações Externas (REX) - Related News
On 26 September, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) approved an own-initiative opinion to mark the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). In this opinion, the EESC acknowledges the important achievements of this initiative, but also calls for further reforms in the areas of democratisation and fundamental freedoms. The opinion insists on the need to strengthen the role of civil society and to provide credible EU membership prospects to EaP states.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted a high-level conference on 5 September to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership.
The President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Luca Jahier is in Shanghai for the 17th meeting of the EU-China Round Table, bringing together the EESC and the China Economic and Social Council (CESC).
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.
The 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, in force since 1994, was the main topic of the EEA Consultative Committee meeting that took place on 23 and 24 May. This committee, which represents employers, workers and other civil society players of EEA member states, insisted on the importance of completing the internal market and taking into account its social dimension.
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.
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 European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted at its March plenary session an opinion on the Joint Communication "Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy", issued by the European Commission and the EU High Representative in September 2018. The EESC considers it to be a seriously missed opportunity, with many significant strategic gaps, little ambition and no real depth of vision offered as to the development of EU's relationship and connectivity with Asia.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted in its March plenary session on 20 March, an opinion proposing an EU-led global peace-building strategy which includes the creation of the WhiteDoveWay, a path of peace from Northern Ireland to Nicosia, to promote dialogue, reconciliation and conflict prevention following in the initial footsteps of the sixth century Irish pilgrim Columbanus.