Regional integration – Western Balkans PMs to meet in Durrës

Flags; Photo: European Union

TIRANA – Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, will host an informal meeting of the Western Balkans Prime Ministers in Durrës on 26th of August where they will discuss on deepening regional integration with focus on economy and trade.

Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Kosovo, Isa Mustafa, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denis Zvizdić, Prime Minister of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković as well as Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Cyril Muller, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia will attend the meeting.

The one-day event will be composed of different working sessions during which topics on trade, services, investments and digital economy will be discussed.

It is expected that the Western Balkans Prime Ministers will further discuss and will provide strong high-level commitment to the implementation arrangements of the Multi-Annual Action Plan for the Regional Economic Area which was agreed upon in Trieste Summit.

Furthermore, it is expected that the results Berlin Process yielded so far and the prospects of Western Balkans regional cooperation will be one of the subjects of discussion.

Commissioner Hahn issued a statement in which says that the focus of the meeting will be on boosting the implementation of the commitments taken at the Trieste Summit in July 2017, especially the action plan on the deepening of regional economic integration.

“The Regional Economic Area agreed at the Trieste Summit will provide new opportunities for businesses and citizens alike and strengthen growth and jobs. The next concrete steps include the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, identifying and scrapping red tape and regulatory barriers that impede trade and investment in the region, setting up a regional dialogue on digital transformation, and launching negotiations on a dispute settlement mechanism,” said Hahn in the statement.

He also added that the European Commission strongly supports the Western Balkans’ regional co-operation as an integral part of their EU accession perspective, through substantial investments in connecting infrastructure, economies and people within the region itself and between the Western Balkans’ region and the European Union.