Western Balkans Leaders to Participate in Online Berlin Process Meeting | Beta Briefing

Western Balkans Leaders to Participate in Online Berlin Process Meeting

Source: Beta
News / Region | 05.07.21 | access_time 13:05

Oliver Varhelyi (Beta/European Commission/Dati Bendo)

The eighth summit of the Berlin Process for the Western Balkans is to be held online on July 5, with Berlin once again playing the role of the host. One of the main topics of the virtual meeting will be the establishment of a common regional market in the Western Balkans.

The Serbian side will be represented by Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, while the EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi is scheduled to address the attendees.

According to Deutsche Welle (DW), the regional director for South-Eastern Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office and a former German ambassador to Albania, Susanne Schutz, said that the main focus of the meeting will be the next steps in the establishing of the common regional market in the Western Balkans which had been agreed on by the Western Balkans leaders during the previous meeting, in November 2020.

The further course of action, she explained, is dictated by the four fundamental freedoms which govern the movement of people, goods, services and capital, all of which need to be achieved by 2024.

Schutz also said that Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) have specially been drafted to help the implementation of the Action Plan for the Common Regional Market.

The Berlin Process was launched in 2014, with the intention to promote regional cooperation and thus accelerate the Western Balkans’ rapprochement with the EU.

Schutz said she considers the abolition of roaming charges in the Western Balkans as of July 1, the expansion of the transport and energy infrastructure and connecting them with the existing EU corridors, as well as the establishing of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) as concrete results achieved so far.

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