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European Western Balkans
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EU institutions reached provisional agreement on Growth Plan for the Western Balkans

EU flag; Photo: Pixabay

BRUSSELS – The Council presidency and the European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement on setting up a Reform and Growth Facility for the Western Balkans. The Facility is the centrepiece of the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans presented by the Commission in November 2023.

The Facility will cover the period from 2024 to 2027 and is expected to provide up to €2 billion in grants and €4 billion in loans to the EU’s Western Balkan partners. It will complement the existing Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III), considerably increasing financial assistance to partners in the region.

The provisional agreement will now need to be endorsed by the Council and Parliament with a view to formal adoption by both institutions following legal-linguistic revision.

On 8 November 2023, the European Commission adopted a new Growth Plan for the Western Balkans, with the aim of bringing the Western Balkan partners closer to the EU through offering some of the benefits of EU membership to the region in advance of accession, boosting economic growth and accelerating socio-economic convergence.

President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola wrote on X that enlargement is the EU’s strongest geopolitical tool.  “We’re investing 6 billion euros for reforms and gradual integration in the single market ahead of EU accession”, said Metsola.

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