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On the invitation by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), BCSDN participated to the Study Group Meeting of the Section for External relations of the on the economic and social cohesion and European integration of the Western Balkans that took place on December 11th in Brussels. The aim of the meeting was EESC to gather relevant input from the ground for the preparation of their upcoming Explanatory opinion on the challenges and priorities on the Economic and social cohesion and European integration of the Western Balkans.

BCSDN’s Policy and Advocacy Office, Ms. Biljana Spasovska presented in front of the EESC members the challenges faced by the civil society organizations in the region, based on the findings from the 2016 Regional Monitoring Matrix Report. The other speakers were a representative of the European Commission – Ms. Katarzyna Marzec, Team Leader for Enlargement Policy and Strategy within the Policy Unit at DG NEAR and Mr. Dušan Reljić, Head of Office, German Institute for International and security Affairs (SWP).

For the preparation of the Opinion, the EESC organized fact finding missions across the countries of the Western Balkans and will organize another round of consultations before its adoption, foreseen for the spring 2018.

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