Vučić, Zaev and Rama held a video meeting on “mini-Schengen”

Edi Rama, Aleksandar Vučić and Zoran Zaev; Photo: Tanjug / Tanja Valić

WESTERN BALKANS – Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and the Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev held a video meeting today on “mini-Schengen”, renewing the initiative for improving regional cooperation which was launched last year, as reported by Vućić’s cabinet.

It was stated that the initiative is fully in line with the Berlin Process, and that it represents a good basis for the upcoming summit of leaders of the Western Balkans, which will be held in Sofia, FoNet reports.

The activities of the initiative for the improvement of regional cooperation were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as due to the elections held in North Macedonia and Serbia, the statement reminds.

The three leaders agreed that the crisis has further highlighted the need to intensify co-operation and regional economic integration.

The leaders of Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia emphasized that it was extremely important for the Western Balkans to further engage in improving regional co-operation, and therefore called on Pristina to join the initiative. The invitation followed the establishment of the framework defined in Washington in September between Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti.

President Vučić and Prime Ministers Rama and Zaev also agreed to form a permanent working group that will include official representatives of the governments of each of the participating countries, in order to speed up the process of signing and implementing agreed activities within the initiative for improving regional cooperation.

The participants agreed that this initiative can also be used to identify joint infrastructure projects aimed at the development of the region, in accordance with the EU Economic and Investment Plan for the countries of the Western Balkans.

The three leaders expressed hope that the governments of Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina will soon be able to join this initiative, which would achieve better economic cooperation between all countries in the region.