Relations with enlargement countries

shape1 Kosovo Iceland Serbia Albania Bosnia Montenegro FYROM Turkey Turkey

Joint Consultative Committees and Working Groups currently in the CoR

There are currently four Joint Consultative Committees and two Working Groups in existence:

  1. JCC between the CoR and Montenegro
  2. JCC between the CoR and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  3. JCC between the CoR and Serbia
  4. JCC Iceland (on hold)
  5. Working Group on relations with Turkey
  6. Working Group on the Western Balkans (covering Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo*)

Institutional context

The CoR's official position on enlargement is primarily prepared by the CIVEX commission and adopted by the Plenary Assembly, through opinions on the European Commission's enlargement package. In this context, the Joint Consultative Committees (JCCs) and Working Groups (WGs) play an active supporting role in contributing to the work of the Bureau, of the CIVEX members and of its Rapporteurs by informing on the results of the debates during the meetings with the partner countries.

Joint Consultative Committees (JCCs) are created between the Committee of the Regions and local and regional representatives of the candidate countries for EU accession following a request from the government of the partner country concerned and on the basis of the provisions set down in the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) or in an official declaration of the Stabilisation and Association Council between the Council of the European Union and the candidate country.

They are composed of an equal number of CoR members (and replacement members) and local and regional representatives from the partner country. JCCs are co-chaired by a CoR member and a member from the partner country, and decisions are taken jointly. Furthermore, the functioning of the JCCs is regulated by the "Rules of Procedures" adopted within each JCC.

Given the stability of their membership, JCCs allow for a consistent and stable cooperation with local and regional authorities of the partner country, offering increased co-ownership, and ensuring a more proactive role for the representatives of the partner country. The JCCs have an important role in promoting dialogue and cooperation between LRAs in the EU and in the candidate countries.

Working Groups (WGs) are composed only of members of the CoR. They are created directly by a decision of the CoR Bureau in accordance with the CoR Rules of Procedure . The participation of local and regional representatives from the partner countries in meetings of the Working Groups varies according to the topics discussed and the place of the meeting. The Working Groups usually constitute a contact point with the LRAs of the partner countries and are used as a tool to deepen specific bilateral/multilateral issues.