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5th Enlargement Day 2019  

The Enlargement Day is the European Committee of the Regions' annual flagship event on EU enlargement policy.

In 2019, the event is organized for the fifth time. Its raison d'être is the growing realization that a country joining the EU needs 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.

On 18 June (afternoon), local and regional representatives from the EU and the enlargement countries will meet in country-specific Joint Consultative Committees and Working Groups for thematic debates.

The joint plenary session on 19 June (morning) will feature a high-level opening session followed by panels of experts who will take a critical look at the state and future of the EU enlargement process.

All parts of the event are open to everybody, subject to registration.



Day 1: Tuesday 18 June 2019

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 18 June

JCC Montenegro

Room: JDE 53

Thematic session: EU pre-accession assistance to Montenegro

JCC Serbia

Room: JDE 70

Thematic session: Rule of law in Serbia on the local level

JCC North Macedonia

Room: VMA 3

Thematic session: Strengthening good governance

WG Western Balkans

Room: JDE 60

Thematic session: The Dayton Agreement - 24 years of complex governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Lessons learnt from the 2018 elections.

WG Turkey

Room: VMA 1

Thematic session: Strategies for fighting youth unemployment





In the Western Balkans strategy adopted on 6 February 2018, the European Commission announced six flagship initiatives ( ) to support the transformation efforts of the region. Two of the six – rule of law and socio-economic development - are of particular relevance to local and regional authorities. Rule of law is not an academic abstraction but an absolute condition of good governance. Socio-economic development is something that the citizens will expect to see at the end of complex and sometimes painful reforms.

This year's Enlargement Day will explore the links between EU support to the region and these two key objectives.



Day 2: Wednesday 19 June 2019

Enlargement Day Plenary Session

Room: VMA 3

FR/DE/EN/IT/PL/RO/SR/TR/MK (listening into)


09:30 - 10:00 Opening Session

Please note changed session start time

  • Karl-Heinz Lambertz (BE/PES), President of the European Committee of the Regions
  • Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations - video message
  • Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director (Western Balkans), European Commission, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations


10:00 - 11:15 Values through Money? Does EU Funding Spread Democracy and Rule of Law?

Moderated by Dr Silke Toenshoff, Head of Unit, European Committee of the Regions


Keynote Speaker

  • H.E. Valentin Inzko, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina


    Panel Debate
  • Marc Cools, Council of Europe, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Municipal Councillor of Uccle  (Belgium)
  • Nenad Šebek, Senior Consultant on Media and Civil Society, Former BBC Correspondent
  • Dr Jasna Jelisić, Head of the Western Balkans Task Force, European External Action Service
  • Dr Jelena Dzankic, GLOBALCIT Coordinator, European University Institute

11:15 - 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 - 12:45 Money through Values? Is Improved Governance Leading to Local Socio-Economic Development?

Moderated by Dr Silke Toenshoff, Head of Unit, European Committee of the Regions

Keynote Speaker

  • Petre Shilegov, Mayor of Skopje, President of ZELS, President of the Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe (NALAS)

    Panel Debate
  • Recep Gürkan, Mayor of Edirne, Turkey
  • Franco Iacop, CoR Rapporteur on the 2018 Enlargement Package, Co-Chair of the Joint Consultative Committee CoR-Serbia (IT/PES)
  • Vesselin Valkanov, Regional Cooperation Council, Head of Liaison Office in Brussels
  • Sonja Licht, President, Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence

12:45 - 13:00 Closing Remarks

  • Prof. Franz Schausberger, Chair of the CoR Working Group on the Western Balkans (AT/EPP), Special Advisor to Commissioner Hahn




Organizer: European Committee of the Regions; CIVEX Commission
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