The sixth Enlargement Day was organised today by the European Committee of the Regions and the Slovenian Presidency of the EU, opening important topics related to the EU accession process and the important role of local and regional authorities.

NALAS Vice President, Mayor Antonio Ratkovic addressed in the Thematic Session 1: The EU accession process and the role of local and regional authorities.

“Citizens’ trust in the reforms must be deserved, they must feel that the quality of life improves. Local governments must keep transforming public services and infrastructure and EU’s support here is key”, said Mayor Ratkovic. He also emphasised that Western Balkans must not remain isolated. “The accession process must accelerate and get a new quality”, said Mayor Ratkovic. “Local and regional governments and their Associations must be included in this process”.

The session also included inputs by Ms. Tanja Misevic, Deputy Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Mr. Wolfgang Nozar, Deputy Head of Unit, Enlargement Strategy, DG NEAR, Ms. Milena Lazarevic, Programme Director, European Policy Centre (EPC), Belgrade, Mr. Franz Schausberger (AT/EPP), co-chair of the JCC Serbia and Mr. Roberto Ciambetti (IT/ECR), co-chair of the JCC Montenegro.


NALAS Project Manager, Mr. Elton Stafa addressed in the Thematic Session 2: Green and digital transition for recovery and resilience: what cities and regions can do?

“The strong territorial dimension of COVID-19 will require more than ever an active cooperation between levels of government in planning, developing and implementing ‘place-based’ social and economic recovery measures”, said Mr. Stafa.


The session also included inputs by: Ms. Dragana Sotirovski, Mayor of Niš, Serbia, and co-chair of the JCC Serbia, Mr. Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Turkey, Ms. Anuela Ristani, Vice Mayor of Tirana, Albania, and Ms. Satu Haapanen, City councillor, Chair of the Education and Culture Board, City of Oulu, member of JCC North Macedonia and JCC Montenegro.