BRUSSELS – Regional economic integration between Belgrade, Podgorica, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje and Tirana is not a deviation from the European path, but an opportunity for modernization and approaching the European Union market, said EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi in the author’s text for Politika, reports FoNet.
The reduction of the gap in economic development between the region and the EU must be faster, which in turn will accelerate the process of European integration of these countries into the Union, Várhelyi added.
Várhelyi pointed out that these are the main reasons why the European Commission presented this week a comprehensive Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, which envisages the mobilization of up to nine billion euros to finance investment priorities in the field of transport, energy, green and digital transition and to create long-term growth and job creation.
According to the European Commissioner, the plan will strengthen the region’s position as an investment hub for European companies, and it will become an unavoidable place on the map for investors.
“This week, I am traveling to the Western Balkans, where I will personally present our partners with the new Economic and Investment Plan and annual reports,” Várhelyi announced, adding that he hopes to receive support for the implementation of the plan, as well as a clear commitment to reform and cooperation.