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We are one of the EU Economic and Social Committee's enlargement candidate members

The EU's Economic and Social Committee (EESC), which last month called on civil society in EU accession countries to identify the civil society organizations that will contribute to the Committee's work as "enlargement candidate members", announced the names at its inaugural meeting on 15 February 2024.

15 experts from Turkey, representatives of employers' organizations, trade unions and CSOs, will contribute to the opinions prepared by the Economic and Social Committee in the preparation of EU regulations in the coming period and may be involved in the development of new ideas. Our association is among the 15 institutions selected.

Why is the study on the enlargement candidates so important?

As part of this EESC pilot project, which brings together some 250 organizations and networks representing millions of EU citizens at national level and is made up of three groups: the Employers' Group, the Workers' Group and the Civil Society Organizations' Group, the members of the enlargement candidates will be informed about the opinions that the EESC will draw up when preparing EU regulations in the coming period and will be able to contribute to the development of new ideas.

Thanks to this initiative, the candidate countries will be directly involved in the work of the EU institutions for the first time, which can be seen as an indication that the EU will increasingly put the issue of enlargement on its agenda in the coming period.

For civil society organizations, this initiative is clear evidence of the increasing role of civil society in the EU enlargement process.

Around 600 applications were received from 9 EU candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, Turkey) for the initiative carried out by the Economic and Social Committee. 131 of these applications were accepted as enlargement candidates. The candidate countries are made up of representatives of employers' organizations, trade unions and civil society organizations.

STGM is among the organizations selected for the enlargement candidate membership

Enlargement candidate member is an honorary title that expresses support for and interest in civil society representatives in the EU candidate countries without conferring on them the status of EESC member. Our association is one of the civil society organizations selected as an enlargement candidate member. Our board member Saniye Nazik Işık will represent our association in this study.

The other selected institutions from Turkey are as follows:

  • Confederation of Progessive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK)
  • Habitat Association
  • HAK-İŞ Trade Union Confederation
  • Economic Development Foundation (İKV)
  • Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO)
  • The Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGİDER)
  • Confederation of Public Servants' Trade Unions (MEMUR-SEN)
  • Civil Society Development Center Association (STGM)
  • Türkiye Esnaf ve Sanatkârları Konfederasyonu (TESK)
  • European Foundation of Turkey
  • Türkiye İşçi Sendikaları Konfederasyonu (TÜRK-İŞ)
  • Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TİSK)
  • Türkiye Kamu-Sen Konfederasyonu
  • The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB)
  • The Third Sector Foundation of Turkey(TÜSEV)
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