BRUSSELS – Delegations of the European Parliament for relations with the Western Balkan countries will hold their constituent meetings on Thursday, 26 September.
New chairs and vice chairs of the groups that will hold regular meetings with the members of parliaments of the region will be elected in this session.
During the eight term of the European Parliament (2014-2019), three of the chairs of EP Delegations for the Western Balkans came from the European People’s Party (EPP), while two of them were members of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D).
Among more than a hundred delegations for various parts of the world, as well as international organisations, European Parliament has five delegations specifically dedicated to relations with candidate and potential candidate countries from the Western Balkans: Delegations to the Stabilisation and Association Committees with Albania, Montenegro and Serbia, Delegation to Joint Parliamentary Committee with North Macedonia, as well as Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.
From 2014 to 2019, Delegations for the relations with Serbia was chaired by Eduard Kukan (EPP). His party colleague Alojz Peterle chaired the Delegation for the relations with North Macedonia, while Monica Macovei, who chaired the Delegation to Albania, switched membership from European People’s Party to European Conservatives and Reformists.
Two S&D members who chaired the Delegations were David Martin from United Kingdom, who was in charge for Montenegro, and Tonino Picula of Croatia, who lead the Delegation for relations with BiH and Kosovo. Martin took over from his colleague Anneliese Dodds in 2017, after she had been elected to the UK Parliament.
Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committees are advisory bodies formed on the basis of Stabilisation and Association agreements with the EU, adopted by each of the Western Balkan countries. They are composed of EU Delegations and Delegations of national parliaments and usually meet twice a year, once in the national parliament and once in the European Parliament.
Joint Parliamentary Committee with North Macedonia was formed on the same basis in 2004, three years after the ratification of the country’s SAA.
On the other hand, Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee of Bosnia and Herzegovina was established in November 2015 as part of the SAA bodies, but it failed to adopt its rules of procedure due to the insistence of some delegates from BiH on the inclusion of ethnic voting provisions not in line with European standards.