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4th Enlargement Day 2018  


The Enlargement Day is the European Committee of the Regions' annual flagship event on EU enlargement policy, now organized for the fourth time.

In 2018, the event is organized with the co-operation of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU.

On 3 May (afternoon), local and regional representatives from the EU and the enlargement countries meet in country-specific Joint Consultative Committees and Working Groups for thematic debates.

The joint plenary session on 4 May (morning) will feature a high-level opening session followed by a panel of experts who will take a critical look at the state and future of the EU enlargement process. Another panel of elected representatives will then bring the debate back to the level of governance closest to the citizen – the local and regional authorities.

The theme running through the whole event is that a country joining the EU will need to prepare not just its central government and administration, but also the local and regional level – as that level will eventually implement much of the EU legislation.



Day 1: Thursday 3 May 2018

Joint Consultative Committees (JCC) and Working Groups (WG)


Parallel sessions 15:00-18:30

Click on the title of the group to access its agenda for 3 May

JCC former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Room: VMA 1

Thematic session: Waste management

JCC Montenegro

Room: JDE 63

Thematic session: Preventing corruption at the local level

JCC Serbia

Room: JDE 53

Thematic session: Sub-national authorities and the protection of cultural heritage

WG Western Balkans

Room: JDE 70

Thematic session: Digital transformation of the Western Balkans

WG Turkey

Room: JDE 51

Thematic session: Twinning: City to City Partnerships




Day 2: Friday 4 May 2018

Enlargement Day Plenary Session

Room: JDE 52

(Listening room 51)

FR/DE/EN/IT/EL/SL/BG/HR/TR/SQ/SR/MK[*]/BS (listening into)

FR/DE/EN/IT/EL/PL/SL/BG/RO/HR/TR/SQ/SR/MK[*]/BS 20(speaking)


09:00-10:00 – Opening Session

  • Karl-Heinz Lambertz (BE/PES), President of the European Committee of the Regions
  • Lilyana Pavlova, Minister for the Presidency of the EU Council, Bulgaria
  • Goran Svilanović, Secretary General, Regional Cooperation Council (RCC)
  • Darko Fras, Mayor of Sveta Trojica (Slovenia), President of the Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe (NALAS)

10:00-10:15 – Keynote speaker:

  • Johannes Hahn, Commissioner, European Commission, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

10:15-10:30 – Coffee Break

10:30-11:30 – Panel Debate 1

State and Future of the Enlargement Process – As seen by Experts


  • Ian Barber, Director, Committee of the Regions, Directorate for Communication

 A panel of experts discusses the enlargement process

  • Dr Dušan Reljić, Head of Brussels Office, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
  • Vessela Tcherneva, Deputy Director, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
  • Erwan Fouéré, Associate Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
  • Srđan Majstorović, Chairman of the Governing Board, European Policy Centre (CEP), Belgrade

11:30-12:45 – Panel Debate 2

State and Future of the Enlargement Process – As seen by Local Representatives

  • Chair: Barbara Duden (DE/PES), Chair of the CIVEX Commission, European Committee of the Regions

A panel of elected representatives responds to the previous panel

  • Co-Chairs of JCC Serbia, JCC former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, JCC Montenegro
  • Chairs of the Working Groups on Turkey and Western Balkans

12:45-13:00 – Closing remarks

  • Prof. Dr Franz Schausberger (AT/EPP), Chairman of the Committee of the Regions' Working Group on Western Balkans, Rapporteur-General on 'Enlargement: Inclusion of Western Balkans Local and Regional Authorities in the EU's Macro-Regional, Cross-Border and Other Transnational Cooperation Initiatives' [**], Special Adviser to Commissioner Hahn  

Webstreaming will be available for the plenary session:


[*] ISO 639-1 code

[**] Referral of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Organizer: CIVEX Commission
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