On the 6st of November 2007 the European Commission (EC) published the annual Enlargement Strategy and issued reports of the progress made over the last twelve months by each EU candidate country (Croatia, Macedonia, Turkey). These reports and the reports on potential candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo - under UN Security Council Resolution 1244) can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/key_documents/reports_nov_2007_en.htm
All the candidate countries made progress in 2007, but a great deal more of the path towards membership needs to be traversed. The reports make no mention of international development issues - the bulk of the reports is on economy, human rights and the rule of law - but each report has a part on civil society and regional cooperation.
Turkey: The state of civil society in Turkey has improved since the recent reforms and the positive trend in Civil Society (CS) development and dialogue observed over the last few years has continued. NGOs have been able to take a more active role. Regional cooperation of Turkey is limited to improving relations with Greece.
Croatia: Civil society organisations promote human rights, democracy and cross-border cooperation. A 3 million EUR grant scheme will be launched to support civil society projects in the sectors of environment and sustainable development, democratisation and human rights and youth. Croatia's chairmanship of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) was successful, allowing good progress to be made in transition from the Stability Pact to a more regionally owned framework. Croatia also presided the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative and the Migration, Asylum and Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI).
Macedonia: The Government adopted a strategy for cooperation with civil society organisations and developed an action plan. One of its aims is to involve civil society more in the policy
development process and in legislative drafting. The NGOs in Macedonia continue to be heavily dependent on foreign sources of financing. Macedonia maintains good relations with its neighbours and participated in regional initiatives such as SEECP and Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). It participated actively and constructively in the negotiations for the new CEFTA (Central European Free Trade Agreement).
Go to http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/key_documents/reports_nov_2007_en.htm to read the entire reports, the press material with the key findings and to download the Enlargement Strategy 2007-2008.
Information provided by Mirko Dautovic, TRIALOG intern