08 May, 2023

Renew Europe CoR: Gabrič reaffirms support for EU enlargement

Speaking on Enlargement Day, the European Committee of the Regions’ (CoR) flagship event on EU enlargement policy dialogue and capacity-building, Renew Europe CoR member Jasna Gabrič reaffirmed her full support for North Macedonia to become EU Member State in the future. 

Despite enthusiasm from citizens, fatigue with the enlargement process is a real risk to the process, she highlighted in her intervention, stating “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.” 

Gabrič added: “The JCC North Macedonia has come a long way. It would 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 EU enlargement is back in focus and the European Commission has started recognising 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 Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, has had significant effects on the EU enlargement process. 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, and the CoR is therefore helping to prepare countries for EU accession. The annual Enlargement Days, which took place on 4-5 May 2023, offered a forum for political dialogue and capacity-building in this context. 

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