Genoveva Ruiz Calavera: The RCC instrumental in facilitating co-operation bringing the Western Balkans closer to one another and to the EU
Sarajevo – Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for the Western Balkans at the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) visited the offices of the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Secretariat in Sarajevo today, as a part of her Western Balkans tour.
Director Ruiz Calavera was welcomed by the RCC staff led by the Secretary General Goran Svilanovic, who presented the entire organisation’s team, past and the ongoing activities as well as its future plans.
“It is always a pleasure to welcome our partners from the Commission in RCC in Sarajevo. The time is a precious category and the opportunities for a high-level officials to spare some of it to meet the entire team standing behind our regional success story is very much appreciated”, said Secretary General Svilanovic, while announcing presentation of the RCC’s achievements and plans, prepared by the staff.
“The first year of the implementation of the Multi-Annual Action Plan on Regional Economic Area (MAP REA) is behind us and we have a significant progress to report in the areas of Digital Integration, Mobility and Investment as well as in Trade, together with our colleagues from CEFTA. The report to be presented at the upcoming Western Balkans Summit in London on 10 July is ready. Also, we have just embarked on implementation on the EU-funded project Tourism Development and Promotion, which was officially launched last week, here in Sarajevo. The launch is just a trigger of series of activities that are to follow, starting with its grant scheme programme to boost the infrastructure and services around regional adventure and cultural tourist routes, the open call for which will be published this month already”, said Svilanovic also highlighting continued efforts on the implementation of the SEE 2020 Strategy, update on which is to be presented at its Governing Board session this Thursday in Brussels followed by the presentation of 2018 instalment of the Balkans Barometer, public and business opinion survey done by the RCC.
Director Ruiz Calavera expressed her pleasure over meeting the people of the RCC standing behind enormous work done in the region and for the region, praising its core activities in promotion of regional cooperation, all-inclusiveness and vision that is to bring the region closer to the EU.
“The RCC has been instrumental in facilitating co-operation which brings the Western Balkans closer to one another and to the EU. Regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations are the cornerstone of the region’s integration into the EU. A lot has been achieved but there is a long way ahead. I am confident that the RCC will continue its work with the same commitment and enthusiasm. I am particularly pleased to hear that the tourism project has started and am looking forward to seeing this attractive image of the Western Balkans winning the hearts of the Europeans and tourists worldwide.”
This short visit was an opportunity for the RCC to present itself and its work but also to discuss the Commission’s plans and activities within the Strategy for the Western Balkans and the outstanding requirements.