On 2nd June 2016, the Committee of the Regions celebrated the Enlargement Day 2016 with a dedicated conference. The President of ALDA participated bringing his contribution.

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The EU counts today 28 European countries. After Slovenia, Croatia is the second country from ex-Yugoslavia to join the EU, and now the European perspective remains open to the entire Western Balkans region. This was the topic discussed during the conference, that saw the participation of the members of the CoR and important representatives of the Western Balkans countries.

Oriano Otočan, President of ALDA, intervened among panellists, bringing his personal experience as member of the Istrian regional government during the accession of Croatia to the EU, and the experiences and activities of ALDA in the enlargement process interesting the Western Balkans countries. During his speech, he stressed the importance of the role of local and regional authorities in this process.

“Direct and active involvement of regions and cities in the enlargement process is key, since they are the local authorities closest to citizens. We already experienced situations where the rigid centralisation of states brought to a lack of trust towards the role of regions and cities, with a consequent breach of the fundamental principle of subsidiarity. The progress in the enlargement process cannot be ensured without the principles of decentralisation and subsidiarity”, said ALDA President.

Among the panellists also other important representatives giving their contribution: Karl-Heinz Lambertz (BE/PES), First Vice-President of the CoR; Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, Vice-President of the Congress of the Council of Europe and President of the Chamber of Regions; Anna Magyar (HU/EPP), CoR rapporteur on Enlargement strategy 2015-2016; Allan Jones, Head of Unit, Strategy, Policy, Planning – EEA/EFTA, DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR).

On 2nd June 2016, the Committee of the Regions celebrated the Enlargement Day 2016 with a dedicated conference. The President of ALDA participated bringing his contribution.

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The EU counts today 28 European countries. After Slovenia, Croatia is the second country from ex-Yugoslavia to join the EU, and now the European perspective remains open to the entire Western Balkans region. This was the topic discussed during the conference, that saw the participation of the members of the CoR and important representatives of the Western Balkans countries.

Oriano Otočan, President of ALDA, intervened among panellists, bringing his personal experience as member of the Istrian regional government during the accession of Croatia to the EU, and the experiences and activities of ALDA in the enlargement process interesting the Western Balkans countries. During his speech, he stressed the importance of the role of local and regional authorities in this process.

“Direct and active involvement of regions and cities in the enlargement process is key, since they are the local authorities closest to citizens. We already experienced situations where the rigid centralisation of states brought to a lack of trust towards the role of regions and cities, with a consequent breach of the fundamental principle of subsidiarity. The progress in the enlargement process cannot be ensured without the principles of decentralisation and subsidiarity”, said ALDA President.

Among the panellists also other important representatives giving their contribution: Karl-Heinz Lambertz (BE/PES), First Vice-President of the CoR; Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, Vice-President of the Congress of the Council of Europe and President of the Chamber of Regions; Anna Magyar (HU/EPP), CoR rapporteur on Enlargement strategy 2015-2016; Allan Jones, Head of Unit, Strategy, Policy, Planning – EEA/EFTA, DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR).