RCC Secretary General takes part in WB leaders' meeting in Skopje New Phase of the Common Regional Market to Be Ready for Leaders' Endorsement at the Next Berlin Process Summit

The Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Majlinda Bregu, took part at the Western Balkans Meets EU, a WB leaders' meeting in Skopje on 22 January 2024 (Photo: RCC/Dimitar Miladinov)

The Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Majlinda Bregu, took part at the Western Balkans Meets EU, a WB leaders' meeting in Skopje on 22 January 2024 (Photo: RCC/Dimitar Miladinov)

Skopje - The Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Majlinda Bregu, took part in the Western Balkans Meets EU, a WB leaders' meeting in Skopje today. The meeting dedicated to the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans has been hosted by the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovachevski

"The future prospect for the Western Balkans is going to be the entry in the EU single market. The safest vessel to do that is true and fully functional Common Regional Market, unhindered by regional disputes. This is going to be a difficult process for both sides, the EU and the Western Balkans and if we want it to be a successful one for the region, we are clear that we need to run 2 parallel processes this year, which will fuel each other respectively. The first one is the plan for the region's entry into the EU single market and the other one is embarking onto the second phase of the Common Regional Market Action Plan," said Bregu

The central topic of this high-level meeting that gathered Prime Ministers from the Western Balkans as well as representatives of partner organisations was the RCC-coordinated Common Regional Market Action Plan, the region's stepping stone towards the EU Single Market and EU accession, as it ensures the region’s economic development and as such is a crucial part of the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans.

The new phase of the Common Regional Market that we at RCC started to delineate with 4 freedoms of the EU single market in mind will be accompanied with clear strategic aims mostly focused on boosting human capital in areas such as: education, innovation, digitalisation, mobility, migration, brain drain, women’s economic empowerment and the green agenda.

"The second phase of CRM will be more complex as the region's economic structure has been changing during and after the pandemic. Skills in the region need to be updated, upscaled and refreshed. So the new CRM AP we are preparing now will be more colourful, so to speak, and it will be ready for Western Balkan leaders' endorsement at the next Berlin Process Summit," concluded Bregu

Besides RCC, representatives of other partnering organisations attended the meeting - European Commission, US, CEFTA, WB Chamber Investment Forum, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, World Bank, USAID, Open Society Foundation, and Atlantic Council.