European Western Balkans
Regional cooperation

Zaev: We need to intensify economic cooperation of the region

Zoran Zaev; Photo: European Commission

DURRËS – Today, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn from the Albanian city of Durrës welcomed the cooperation among the countries of the Western Balkans and said that he expects the activities for the implementation of the Trieste Action Plan for the facilitation of economic cooperation between the countries become concrete.

“Now, it is a key priority is to build a regional economic area, strengthen economic growth and create jobs for citizens. Regional economic integration is not an alternative to EU integration for the countries of the Western Balkans, but only a useful supplement”, explained Hahn.

Vice President of the World Bank for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller supported the efforts of the Western Balkan countries to boost economic cooperation, noting that this would contribute to improving the quality of life of citizens in the countries.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev stressed the message from today’s informal meeting of prime ministers of the countries of the Western Balkans, that political commitment will intensify and deepen regional and economic cooperation.

“The joint appearance of the countries of the region in front of Europe will mean creating a bigger market and a greater interest in investing in our countries, and therefore new investments and new jobs for our citizens”, said Zaev.

He noted that the countries of the Western Balkans are focused on peace and a common future towards Euro-Atlantic integration.
“Our countries are friendly and as friends, we have to help and build roads together towards the EU”, said Zaev.

The informal meeting in Durrës will take place in several working sessions devoted to facilitating the movement of people and goods, transport efficiency and predictability, trade cooperation, as well as projects that should lead to the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU.

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