The importance of Social Dialogue, the role of employers' organisations, the economic situation in the Balkan countries, progress in the accession process and current political challenges: these were main topics of the discussions at the Balkan Employers' Round Table that took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 22 March 2017. The event brought together representatives of employers' organisations from former Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia).
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EESO dejavno sodeluje pri procesu širitve EU in je za svoje odnose z organizacijami civilne družbe v državah širitve razvil dvojni pristop, tj. regionalnega in dvostranskega.
Kar zadeva regionalni pristop, je glavni instrument za usklajevanje dejavnosti EESO v regiji spremljevalni odbor za Zahodni Balkan, tj. stalni notranji organ EESO. Del njegove dejavnosti je forum civilne družbe Zahodnega Balkana, organiziran vsaki dve leti.
EESO tudi dvostransko sodeluje z državami Zahodnega Balkana in Turčijo. Na podlagi pridružitvenih sporazumov med temi državami in EU je EESO z namenom, da bi organizacije civilne družbe vključil v predpristopne in pristopne procese, s predstavniki civilne družbe ustanovil tri skupne organe, in sicer s Turčijo, Črno goro in Srbijo. Vsak organ je sestavljen iz enakega števila članov iz EESO in partnerske države ter se sestane dvakrat na leto.
EESO vzdržuje redne stike in organizira skupne dejavnosti z organizacijami civilne družbe v državah širitve, s katerimi še ni bil vzpostavljen noben skupni organ predstavnikov civilne družbe.
EESO delo skupnih organov dopolnjuje s pripravo mnenj o predpristopnih in pristopnih procesih posameznih držav ter o temah v regionalnem interesu.
For the 8th time, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Montenegro held the Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) in Budva, Montenegro.
This meeting tackled following issues: Assessment of the state of play in Montenegro accession negotiations to the EU, Chapter 28 of the accession negotiations – with focus on Consumer protection and Debate on the situation of young people on the labour market.
For the 7th time, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Montenegro held the Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC).
The meeting was held in Brussels and tackled following issues:
- The current state of play in EU-Montenegro relations and the accession process
- The Connectivity Agenda in the areas of Energy and Transport
- Chapter 5 - Public procurement
- The state of industrial relations and the development of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Montenegro
On 12th and 13th February 2015, the EESC sent a mission to Albania. This mission's objective was to gather information for the drafting of an exploratory opinion, requested by the European Commission on the Role of civil society in EU-Albania relations.
EESC held two hearing attended by 40 organisations of the civil society in Tirana and 30 organisations in Shkoder.
In addition, EESC Members had meeting with the Chair of the European Integration Committee of the Parliament, the OImbudsman for Albania, representatives of the Ministry for European Integration and ministry for Social Welfare and Youth, the Agency to support Civil Society and the National Labour Council.
1st meeting of the EU-Serbia Joint Consultative CommitteeFor the 1st time, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Serbia held the Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC). The JCC is a civil society platform established between the EESC and Serbian civil society. It complements with a civil society point of view the EU institutional framework related to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia. This joint institution will allow civil society organisations on both sides to monitor the country's accession negotiations. It is also a platform to discuss issues of common interest and to inform the public at large on the challenges ahead during the accession period.
The EESC will organise its Fifth Western Balkans Civil Society Forum in Belgrade on 2-3 June 2015. The main topics on the agenda are the perspectives for the EU-Western Balkans relations, transparency in the enlargement process, youth and employment, as well as the rights of minorities. It will bring together 150 participants, including representatives of Western Balkan civil society organisations, governments, the EESC and other EU institutions. A final declaration will be issued at the end of the event.
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.
The EESC welcomes the special attention devoted to drawing up a European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), in order to support cohesion and competitiveness in the light of challenges that cannot be satisfactorily resolved by single regions or countries through the usual means. The EESC believes that EUSAIR must adopt a comprehensive programme with an action-oriented list of projects and schemes, and strongly recommends that better use be made of the private sector's potential to attract investment (both local and international) and to create business opportunities. Simultaneously, the strategy should include a stronger social dimension, in order to better support inclusive growth in the Adriatic and Ionian region.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has developed a dual approach, regional and bilateral, for its relations with civil society organizations (CSOs) of the Western Balkans. Both are linked by common global objectives, which are:
The opinion should take stock of the current situation of civil society in Serbia (legal environment, relations with the authorities, situation of social and civil dialogues) and propose recommendations for possible EU action in this field. The opinion will provide an opportunity to get the views of Serbian civil society organisations in the course of a study visit to Serbia.