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06 FEB 2018

New EU Strategy for the Western Balkans sets out credible enlargement perspective maintaining the focus on regional cooperation

Photo: European Commission

Photo: European Commission

Sarajevo – The newly published EU Strategy for the Western Balkans (WB) reiterates regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations as keys for progress of the Western Balkans’ economies on their European path, naming the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) among those that provided a new momentum for dialogue. 

“I am very pleased as it is encouraging to see that the efforts led by the RCC with high-level commitment of our regional partners, like SEE 2020 growth Strategy and Multi-Annual Action Plan for Regional Economic Area in the Western Balkans, have been recognised as a driving force of the region's overall prosperity. We have to continue down this road, with reinvigorated energy focusing on merits of a joint reinforced cooperation, embarking on comprehensive reform agendas before us,” said RCC Secretary General, Goran Svilanovic. 
 
“Crucial changes must come from us, the region, as we are the creators of our own future.  Using this positive momentum in an effort to resolve bilateral and multilateral disputes and push even harder to develop our region is our immediate task”, said Svilanovic adding congratulations to Serbia and Montenegro for the specific timeframe suggested by the Strategy, which is result of hard work and efforts invested in the reform processes and the EU accession negotiations.  
 
The Strategy also envisages that the existing agreements and commitments of the Western Balkan economies are made operational, such as RCC-prepared Multiannual Action Plan for the development of a Regional Economic Area, agreed by the leaders of the Western Balkans in July 2017, as „ its implementation will further strengthen trade, investment and mobility within the region and between the region and the EU. It will help integrate the markets into the European and global value chains and promote the digitisation of the region’s economies. It will also help accelerate enterprise and skills development, research and innovation and smart growth“.
 
RCC will continue to support all Western Balkan economies in their efforts to move closer on their EU-accession paths, assisting them to speed up the progress in meeting the established criteria. The actions initiated by the RCC together with the Governments from the region, which we aim to pursue, represent serious efforts in that regard. 

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