RCC Secretary General promotes regional cooperation at the Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid
- 23 Nov 2023
Madrid – The Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Majlinda Bregu, took part at the event dedicated to the discussion on the Western Balkans accession to the European Union and the role of regional cooperation and RCC, organised within the Spanish Presidency of Council of the European Union by the Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid today.
“As the enlargement process continues to stagnate with minimum highlights happening over the year, the question posing itself is what can we get if not enlargement? How can we maintain the positive spirit in the meantime? Deepening the economic integration among ourselves and continuing to build on the policies aligning us more with the EU is always a good start. The Common Regional Market is the real model we need to aim to achieve. Without borders, with four freedoms, trade facilities, recognition of diplomas and professions, it can be our drive to regional economic integration and our vessel to the EU Single Market, as it is our future prospect until we join the EU,” said Bregu.
The event, moderated by Charles Powell, Director of Elcano Royal Institute, gathered representatives of diplomatic core and government, and media as well as other relevant regional and EU stakeholders. The event is organised ahead of the EU-Western Balkans Summit, which is set to take place in early December in Brussels.
“Regional cooperation, born in the ‘90s, as a way to reach stability and security, is now much more than ‘just’ that. It is an adhesion bringing the Western Balkans closer together on the clear concept of good neighbourly relations. Our annual citizen and business survey, Balkan Barometer, proves as a true testimony to trust in regional cooperation, as year after year more citizens and businesses highlight their support to it. This year, 76% of citizens and 74% of businesses listed regional cooperation as important contributor to political, economic and security situation in the region. We can say that the regional cooperation is working, but can it stand alone for the Europeanisation of the region is the question now. For the first time in three years we’ve seen a drop of citizens’ support to the EU membership, emphasising the region’s fatigue with the process,” concluded Bregu.
Prior to the event, Ms Bregu held a tête-à-tête meeting with Mr Powel and signed in the book of the guests of honour. Ms Bregu also gave a video interview, which will be published soon at the website of the Institute and RCC communication channels.