EP Adopts Western Balkans Growth Plan | Beta Briefing

EP Adopts Western Balkans Growth Plan

Source: Beta
News / Region | 24.04.24 | access_time 20:44

European Parliament (Photo: EP/Philippe BUISSIN)

The European Parliament (EP) has approved the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans, which is to earmark EUR2 billion in donations and four billion in loans for the region, in the period from 2024 to 2027.

In favor of the report on establishing the Reform and Growth Facility for the Western Balkans were 517 MEPs, while 56 were against and 30 abstained. The Western Balkans Growth Plan was presented and adopted by the European Commission on Nov. 8, 2023, together with the annual Enlargement Package, while the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the Reform and Growth Facility for the Western Balkans, as the central part of the Plan. The goal of the Plan is to incite economic growth in the region and accelerate its social and economic drawing closer to the EU, coupled with carrying out the reforms on the path to the Union.

The countries of the region need to fulfill a series of criteria in order to use the financial assistance package, pertaining to the rule of law, honoring of democratic principles, institutional reforms and taking the necessary steps against the misappropriation of the funds.

Besides the criteria in the reforms and the rule of law, there are also the criteria of political nature. For Serbia and Kosovo, the stated precondition is the “constructive engagement in the normalization of relations aimed at the full implementation of all obligations” stemming from the Agreement on the path to normalization and its Implementation Annex from Ohrid, and from all the previous agreements reached within the Brussels dialogue.

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