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The Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo in Brussels, Dr. Bernard Nikaj attended the annual event of the European Committee of the Regions on EU Enlargement Policy

On 3 and 5 May, the Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo in Brussels, Dr. Bernard Nikaj attended the annual event of the European Committee of the Regions on EU Enlargement Policy, the "Days of Enlargement" organized for the fourth time this year. This event was organized with the co-operation of the Bulgarian EU Presidency, and aims to promote local government in European integration processes.


On Thursday, May 3, representatives of the Committee of the Regions members of the working group on relations with the Western Balkans discussed the linking of local governance with the European integration process, reflecting on the findings of the Country Report and Enlargement Strategy. The Working Group Leader, Mr. Franz Schausberger opened the meeting and moderated a panel with the participation of Ambassador Nikaj, MEP Lukas Mandl, Mr. David Cullen, Head of Unit responsible for Kosovo in the European Commission and Mr. Shpend Ahmeti, Mayor of Pristina Municipality.


In his intervention, the Ambassador stressed the importance of local governance as a facilitator of European reforms at the closest level to citizens. He emphasized the aspects of European integration that relate to the work of Municipalities. He also talked about the local elections held last year and the overall positive assessment that these elections have received from the EU monitoring mission. The Ambassador also mentioned the legislative agenda that will affect the improvement of local governance.


The joint plenary session, held on Friday 4 May, with high-level participation, including Commissioner Hahn, President of the Committee of the Regions Karl-Heinz Lambertz, representatives of the Bulgarian Presidency and was followed by a panel of experts who presented critical insights on the challenges of the EU enlargement process. Another panel of elected representatives will bring the debate back to the level of government closest to the citizen - local and regional authorities. 


Kosovo was also present through a stand with promotional material on the municipalities and different regions of Kosovo. Promotional materials for tourism, investment, culture, cultural heritage etc. were distributed. This stand was co-organized with the Association of Kosovo Municipalities.