Bregu: Common Regional Market is the way forward
- 15 Oct 2020
RCC Board met today for the 41st time
Sarajevo, Tirana - “Multi Annual Action Plan for Regional Economic Area (MAP REA) is in its final stage of implementation. Now it’s clear that the region has benefited from this regional frame but is also ready for an upgrade. We have the Regional Roaming Agreement, Regional Investment Reform Agenda, Digital Summits as a success stories that remind us of the power of togetherness and benefits it brings to the citizens. Now it is time to build on the lessons learned and success stories of the REA and move the region forward. Common Regional Market (CRM) is that way – a way forward”, said Majlinda Bregu, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), opening the 41st meeting of the RCC Board held today in online format.
“Common Regional Market (CM) 2021-2024 is fully regionally-owned agenda, supported by the European Commission (EC). We are currently, together with our partners, Governments from the region, CEFTA, Transport Community in the advanced phase of its preparation, developing the third and hopefully final iteration of Action Plan that we expect to be endorsed at the Western Balkans Sofia Summit in early November.”
The CRM agenda draws on the free movement of goods, services, people and capital - while incorporating further digital, industrial and innovation, and investment portfolios, and inevitable green agenda. Mobility of individuals on the basis of ID is its integral part, in order to expedite the freedom of movement, economic cooperation and speeding up the recognition of professional and academic qualifications. It also rests on the green lanes initiatives and aligns the region with EU-compliant rules and standards. The actions in the Common Market agenda are furthermore targeted toward establishing Regional investment area, aiming to harmonize investment policies with the EU standards and promoting the region to foreign and intra-regional investors; Regional digital area, integrating Western Balkans into the pan-European digital market; and Regional industrial and innovation area, transforming the industrial sectors, shaping value chains and preparing them for the realities of today and the challenges of tomorrow.
At this 41st Meeting of the RCC’s Board, the organisation’s Secretariat presented the Report of the RCC Secretary General on the activities of the organization in the period May – September 2020 and informed the Board on the Coordination Meeting between the Troika of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), the RCC and the European Union, held yesterday. The Secretary General also congratulated on the efforts of the two respective Chairmanships-in-Office of SEECP in the preceding period, Pristina and Ankara, adding that “priorities and the work programme of the Ankara Chairmanship can only be praised for the ambition and focus”.
“Strengthening of SEECP as the key regional cooperative forum, clarifying the role of the RCC to the benefit of the region and enhancing cooperation with regional and international partners is truly coming at a time when regional unity and coordination will determine the success of the weathering of the COVID and post-COVID storm”, concluded Bregu.