EU-Western Balkans Roaming Declaration Reduces Mobile Data Costs, Fosters Regional Connectivity Bregu: EU-Western Balkans roaming reductions in force

02 October 2023

European Union and Western Balkans Telecommunications operators signing Roaming Declaration in Tirana at EU - Western Balkans Summit on 6 December 2022 (Photo: RCC/Armand Habazaj)

European Union and Western Balkans Telecommunications operators signing Roaming Declaration in Tirana at EU - Western Balkans Summit on 6 December 2022 (Photo: RCC/Armand Habazaj)

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu (Photo: RCC/Jerome Hubert)

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu (Photo: RCC/Jerome Hubert)

 "The achievement is not just about reducing costs; it represents that vision of the power of regional cooperation”

Sarajevo, October 2, 2023 — In a significant stride towards regional cooperation and affordable mobile communication, the reduction of roaming costs between  EU and  the Western Balkans, signed at the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Tirana on December 6, 2022, has officially taken effect, marking 1 October 2023, as a date of change.

After almost a year of joint work, under the facilitation umbrella and support from the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the European Commission, and with political support from the EU and the Western Balkans, telecommunications operators from both, Western Balkans and the European Union, have not only met the requirements of the declaration but, in many cases, have exceeded expectations. As of this October, the price cap for 1 GB of data roaming within the special offers and packages, in line with the Roaming Declaration, should not exceed 18 EUR, making international travel and communication significantly more cost-effective. In many cases the price cap of 18 EUR within special offers and packages goes even much lower, down to 1.6 EUR per 1 GB, while three Western Balkan operators, beside package prices lowered even regular, ‘pay-as-you-go’ prices. 

“I announced this almost a year ago with the words “roaming prices between the EU and Western Balkans” will be falling with autumn leaves” and if anyone had any doubts, I am pleased my words ring reassuring today. This landmark development is already reshaping the mobile data landscape for citizens and travellers. The success of the EU-Western Balkans Roaming Declaration is a testament to the power of regional cooperation, transforming communication for the better, even in the face of complex challenges. This milestone comes amid political tensions, economic struggles, and the growing spectre of climate change in the region, reinforcing the importance of regional, and euro-Atlantic collaboration. As we celebrate this achievement , we recognize the dedication of all parties involved, especially telecommunications operators, and look forward to a more connected, accessible, and affordable future for all,” said RCC Secretary General, Majlinda Bregu. 

Read full Op-ed by Majlinda Bregu: "Call from a Region in My Mind" : Bridging the Gap – The Roaming Revolution in the Western Balkans"

Since this is ‘pay-as-you-go’ mode, it means one does not have to buy any package, especially for short travel where significantly less than 1GB is needed, so the cost of ones communication while traveling to the EU may as well be much less than any package would be and maybe even counted in cents, almost as one would at home. We strongly advise you to check the new prices and options with your telecom operator, and remind that the roaming prices within the Western Balkans are just like at home as of July 2021, which is also one of the great achievements of regional cooperation. 

This Declaration aims to substantially reduce data roaming charges between the European Union (EU) and the Western Balkans. The goal is to make the price of roaming EU and Western Balkans closer to the domestic prices  by 2028.

More information on the EU-WB Roaming Declaration