Speaking on Enlargement Day, the European Committee of the Regions’ flagship event on EU enlargement policy dialogue and capacity-building, Jasna Gabrič reaffirmed her full support for North Macedonia to become a future EU member state.
Enthusiasm and the wish of people to join the EU seems to be diminishing across Europe, as well as in the candidate member states. So Jasna Gabrič, city councillor and former Mayor of Trbovjle, Chair of the EU-North Macedonia Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), reaffirmed her full support, and that of the European Committee of the Regions, for North Macedonia to become a future EU member state. “We believe and therefore appeal to all the institutions involved in the processes of Enlargement that we all need to realise these countries are a part of Europe and that we need to act in order not to lose them”.
“The JCC North Macedonia has come a long way. It would really be a pity to endanger the continuation of its work now for a lack of political will, when North Macedonia has finally started its accession negotiations, when the EU enlargement is back in focus, and the European Commission has started recognizing the role of local and regional authorities in the EU integration process. Let me reassure the North Macedonian representatives again that your country, its municipalities and Mayors have our full support – my personal support and the support of the whole European Committee of the Regions to become a future EU member state”.
The revitalisation of EU enlargement policy in 2022, in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is changing the shape of our continent. Ukraine, Moldova and Bosnia and Herzegovina are now candidates for EU accession. In the event of EU membership, local and regional authorities will have a key role in implementing EU legislation. The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) – the EU’s expert body on multi-level governance and subsidiarity – is therefore helping to prepare countries for EU accession. The annual Enlargement Days, which took place on 4 and 5 May 2023, offered a forum for political dialogue and capacity-building.