Bregu: A human-centric Europe, with Western Balkans firmly in its fold, is the best investment in peace and security for the entire continent
- 26 Sep 2023
RCC Secretary General takes part at the Berlin Process Forum of Economy Ministers in Tirana today
Tirana – “A human-centric Europe, that is adapted, reformed, rebooted and more - with Western Balkans firmly in its fold - is the best investment in peace and security for the entire continent! The Western Balkans has made significant progress in the last two decades, but we are not where we wanted and should be and unfortunately, friction amongst countries persists, and conflicts can hinder investments and economic growth in the region,” said Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Majlinda Bregu, at the Berlin Process Forum of Economy Ministers in Tirana today. The meeting has been organised as a part of Albania's chairmanship of the Berlin Process, and in preparation for the next Berlin Process Summit, which will be held on 16 October 2023 in Tirana.
“But today I speak with a heavy heart – about regional cooperation, whose necessity lies simply in keeping us safe, secure and enhancing the good relations. A Kosovan policeman, a father, like thousand others who put their uniform on each day was killed in the line of duty, reminding us again and again of the sacrifices made to build and maintain peace, but also of the pure necessity for the perpetrators of this crime to be held accountable. Transatlantic cooperation has never been more important, never more needed and never more obviously in the interest of this region, Europe and the whole world. As a region where geopolitical and strategic interests compete, Western Balkans is a perfect playground for security threats. 1 in 3 citizens in the region associate the Balkans with doubts, fear, conflict. But the support for regional cooperation amongst business people stands at 74%,” added Bregu.
Ministers recalled that the finalisation of the Western Balkans Common Regional Market is of particular importance to improving competitiveness, business environment and deepening regional economic integration. They expressed strong support for further economic alignment of the Western Balkans with the EU Single Market, through the EU enlargement process, as mutually beneficial for the region and for the EU. Ministers called for enhanced cooperation with the EU to build on current prominent examples such as the RCC-led initiative on the reduction of roaming costs between the WB6 and the EU.
“As we embark on an intense season of important high-level EU-WB meetings, we’ll need less speeches with niceties and more and more focus on flashing out the details of progressive integration in EU single market and other crucial policy areas. Yes, IT is ALL about politics and this time it is about pledges that are taken and have to be maintained,” concluded RCC Secretary General.
The Forum of Economy Ministers is part of the series of preparatory ministerial meetings ahead of the heads of states and governments annual Berlin Process summit that is to take place in a bit more than three weeks. The next ministerial meeting, of ministers of Foreign Affairs, is to take place on 6 October in Tirana.