Bregu: Continued all-inclusive regional cooperation remains the key in strengthening economic resilience of the Western Balkans
- 15 Mar 2023
Regional Cooperation Council Hosts 48th meeting of RCC Board
Sarajevo – “External risks arising from the current geopolitical crisis and the rise in commodity prices reinforce the purpose of the Common Regional Market agenda. Continued all-inclusive regional cooperation remains the key towards strengthening economic resilience of the Western Balkans,” said Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Majlinda Bregu, at the opening of the 48th RCC Board Meeting in Sarajevo today.
The RCC Secretary General presented to the Board the Report on RCC activities in the period from 1 November 2022 to 1 March 2023 and informed them on those planned in the upcoming period. “One doesn’t need to look further to see the manifested impact of regional cooperation than the three regional mobility agreements, endorsed at last year’s Berlin Summit that will enable academic and professional mobility and service-provision in one common regional market. After trying and nerve-racking two years, the three RCC-coordinated centrepiece mobility agreements finally saw the light of day,” added Bregu.
Two economies ratified all three agreements; in another three governments have approved the agreements and sent them to parliaments for ratification; while in one economy the agreements are in the governmental approval process.
Ms Bregu also emphasised the importance of WB-EU Roaming Declaration that has been brokered by the RCC and EC, and signed in Tirana last December, which will bring reduction of roaming charges between our region and the EU this autumn. She also stressed the progress made on the extension of green lanes to borders between the Western Balkans and the EU, as now there are three EU member states extending Green or Blue lanes with Western Balkans: Greece, Italy and Croatia - all RCC Board participants.
“We hope that others will join as soon as possible. Overall, I can say the region now has a qualitative new framework for regional cooperation,” concluded Bregu.
The RCC Board participants adopted the Report of the RCC Secretary General and praised the work of the organisation, congratulating it and its Secretary General on the excellent job done against very difficult situation in the region and Europe in general. The meeting of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Troika preceded the RCC Board meeting.
The RCC Board meets three times a year and is chaired by the Secretary General. Board meetings are convened and prepared by the Secretary General in coordination with the SEECP CiO. The RCC Board provides operational guidance and supervision of the organisation in between its Annual Meetings.