THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- is in favour of all Western Balkans countries as well as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia joining the EU, provided they meet all the accession criteria.
- underlines the importance of sending positive signals to them to foster their engagement in the regrettably long process of becoming EU Members.
- highlights that missing a real and trustworthy EU perspective would lead to frustrations in the partner countries and risks leading to further influence of third countries in the region.
- calls on the Council and Commission to further strengthen bonds and deepen partnership to support Ukraine.
- calls on all countries involved to demonstrate their commitment to EU values and standards.
- reiterates that the rule of law and the functioning of democratic institutions are the unnegotiable foundations of the functioning of Member States of the European Union.
- recalls that 70 per cent of the EU acquis is implemented at the sub-national level, encourages exploring and applying best practices in the cooperation with and involvement of LRAs in enlargement-related matters, as they are strategic partners in the process and key actors in making the enlargement success to the citizens.
- reiterates that public administration reform in the Western Balkans countries cannot be implemented without good governance at local level, and calls on the EC to incorporate into its public administration reform support measures and instruments and more detailed performance indicators of the involvement of LRAs in the overall reform process.
- calls on the Commission to increasingly facilitate the exchange of best practices among LRAs on ways of greater involvement of citizens in preparation of local budgets and policies, through measures such as participatory budgeting and offers its full support in this regard.