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REL analysis: Pre-accession integration of EU candidate countries

REL analysis: Pre-accession integration of EU candidate countries

The ideas that the European countries, which aim to join the European Union, gradually integrate into some EU policies, but also into the work of the institutions, have become frequent.

There have been many calls, including by leaders of member states and European Union institutions, for some kind of "pre-accession integration" to be used to bring candidate countries closer to the EU, even before they formally become member states. .

All the candidate countries, both those from the Western Balkan region and the Eastern neighborhood (Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia) have Association agreements with the EU, and cooperation in several fields. But in the EU, they believe that there is a possibility that, without changing the treaties, this cooperation can be strengthened, including these states in joint meetings, working groups, various infrastructure projects, joint procurements and cooperation in social and economic policies.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC European Economic and Social Committee) has already decided to include representatives from the enlargement process countries in its structures. In this way, this EU institution, which has a professional advisory role on political and social issues, becomes the first institution of the European Union, which includes representatives from the candidate countries in its working structures.

"We are turning a political priority into reality, becoming the first EU institution to include EU candidate countries in its work", it was said in a communique of the Social and Economic Committee, where it was announced that it was approved the decision to appoint civil society representatives from the candidate countries in the advisory work of the Committee.

They will be called "candidate enlargement members" and will participate in the preparation of the opinions and positions of this committee as well as in the plenary sessions, which will focus on the enlargement process.

The President of this Committee, Oliver Ropke, has said that this initiative has met with positive reactions from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the EU External Action Service and other relevant EU institutions.

"Candidate countries need more than just dry words. They need concrete actions. Today the EESC takes a concrete decision, proving to them that we are a reliable partner that can fulfill its promises. It is truly a historical moment", Ropke said, expressing his belief that from the beginning of 2024, members from the enlargement countries will start working with their colleagues in this Committee.

Pjesëtarët nga vendet e zgjerimit, që do të marrin pjesë në punën e Komitetit ekonomik dhe social të BE-së, do të selektohen deri në fund të këtij viti, dhe ata do të jenë nga organizatat e shoqërisë civile.

Nga ky Komitet është thënë se gjatë selektimit do të merren parasysh përvoja dhe pavarësia e tyre dhe do të sigurohet respektimi i barazisë gjinore. Po ashtu, do të kërkohet që të ketë sa më shumë përfaqësues edhe nga organizatat e të rinjve.

Një prej punëve të para, ku planifikohet të përfshihen përfaqësuesit nga vendet e zgjerimit, do të jetë përgatitja e opinionit të EESC për gjendjen e demokracisë dhe rolit të shoqërisë civile në këtë vende, dialogun social dhe prioritetet me të cilat përballen vendet kandidate në fushat e rëndësishme për avancim drejt BE-së.

Sipas një kalendari që ka përgatitur EESC, deri në dhjetor do të përmbyllet procesit i selektimit të përfaqësuesve nga vendet e zgjerimit, në janar do të zhvillohet takimi inaugurues, në mars ose prill do të themelohen grupet e para punuese ndërsa në qershor të vitit të ardhshëm do të zhvillohet seanca plenare e EESC-së me pjesëmarrjen e përfaqësuesve nga vendet e zgjerimit.

Ky Komitet, një lloj sikurse Komiteti i rajoneve, është institucion i BE-së që ka rol këshillues. Në këtë Komitet marrin pjesë përfaqësuesit e shoqërisë civile, sindikatave, organizatave të biznesit, odave ekomomike, akademikë dhe të tjerë nga të gjitha vendet anëtare.

Opinionet e tyre pastaj merren parasysh nga institucionet vendimmarrëse të BE-së, si Komisioni Evropian, Parlamenti dhe Këshilli.

Institucionet tjera të BE-së, po ashtu, kanë bashkëpunim të ngushtë me vendet e procesit të zgjerimit.

Por ky bashkëpunim është më shumë politik dhe këshillues sesa formal.

Këshilli i BE-së shpesh mbledh, në nivele ministrore, përfaqësuesit e vendeve anëtare dhe vendeve kandidate në takime që kanë tema të interesit të përbashkët si politika e jashtme dhe siguria, punët e brendshme me fokus në çështjet e migracionit, lufta kundër krimit të organizuar, kundër radikalizmit dhe trafikimeve.

Also, there are joint meetings for road and railway infrastructure, for energy and some other areas. The European Parliament has joint meetings with the parliamentary committees of the candidate countries. In the future, other EU institutions also plan to include more, even formally, the partners of the enlargement countries in their work, as the Economic and Social Committee has done, which says that it opened this path first./REL

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