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Activities of the Western Balkans Contact Group.
What is the Western Balkans Contact Group ? ♦ History and characteristics. Þ Created in 2004. Þ Composition : 15 Members of the EESC ⋆5 representatives of the Employers Group ⋆5 representatives of the Employees Group ⋆5 representatives of the Various Interests Group (farmers, consumers, NGOs) Þ 2 years term. 2008 -2010 (ongoing term).
What is the Western Balkans Contact Group ? ♦ General Objectives. Þ Link, develop contact, and cooperate with a wide range of locally active CSOs. Þ Bring added-value, i. e civil society expertise, to the work done by the other EU institutions in the WB. Þ Bring expertise to encourage the development of civil and social dialogue in the WB (creation and/or development of national Economic and Social Councils ; platforms of CSOs ; etc…). Þ Assist in informing Brussels-based actors on the difficulties and needs of civil society of the Western Balkans. Þ Develop inter institutional cooperation in those fields.
Objectives for the 2008 -2010 term. ♦ Specific objectives – based on the conclusions of the 2 nd Western Balkans Civil Society Forum organised in 2008. Þ Trade / CEFTA : request for a social and environmental impact assessment of the Agreement + creation of a consultative committee for CSOs of the region. Þ Energy Community : ensure the implementation of the Mo. U on social issues.
Objectives for the 2008 -2010 term. ♦ Organisation of the 3 rd Western Balkans Civil Society Forum. 1 st semester 2010. Potential Topics: ÞTransport Community : encourage setting-up a consultative body involving CSOs in follow-up and assessment process. (concept of national follow-up committees). Þ Economic and Social Rights in each country. State of play and roadmap for further improvements.
Other activities of the EESC in the Western Balkans ♦ Joint Consultative Committees (JCC). Þ Legal basis: SAA. Þ 5 th meeting EU-Croatia JCC – 5 May in Prague. Topics : flexicurity and communication policy on enlargement. Þ 1 st meeting EU-Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia JCC – to be held in 2009.
Other activities of the EESC in the Western Balkans ♦ Opinions on civil society in each country of the region. Þ Adopted opinions: Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Serbia (request from the Commission). Þ To be adopted: Bosnia and Herzegovina (request from the European Commission). Þ Foreseen : Montenegro.