Interviews/Articles/Speeches

Opening speech by RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Western Balkans Coordination Meeting “Revolve to Evolve - Go Circular”

Opening speech by RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Western Balkans Coordination Meeting “Revolve to Evolve - Go Circular”

08 FEB 2024 | SPEECH

Secretary General Majlinda Bregu opened the Western Balkans Coordination Meeting dubbed “Revolve to Evolve - Go Circular” on 8 February 2024 in Pristina.

Among other things Bregu said: Though becoming a hotspot for climate change, our region, which finds itself all too often crushed against the heaviness of various socio-economic or political crises, can often instinctively resort to myopic lenses. Lenses that still do not truly capture the urgency and omnipresence of the climate change nor, for instance, the alarming low recycling rates and the high municipal waste generated per capita.

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Speech by RCC Secretary General at EU-WB Summit

Speech by RCC Secretary General at EU-WB Summit

13 DEC 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu addressed the EU-WB Summit which took place on 13 December in Brussels.

"One year after the EU-WB Summit in Tirana, we feel that the pace and sense of heightened urgency for reforms and regional cooperation on the side of the region, and for institutional and budgetary preparedness of an EU fit for enlargement, is more palpable. Deepening our economic integration and continuing to build on the policies aligning us more with the EU is always valuable. A true and fully functional Common Regional Market, unhindered by regional disputes, can be our vessel to the EU Single Market, which, in all likelihood, will be our future prospect,” said RCC Secretary General, Majlinda Bregu at the Summit.

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Opening speech by RCC Secretary General at the second edition of the Regional Butterfly Award ceremony

Opening speech by RCC Secretary General at the second edition of the Regional Butterfly Award ceremony

12 DEC 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu opened second edition of the Regional Butterfly Award ceremony together with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Mariya Gabriel, in Sofia on 12 December 2023.

“Investment in research and Development (R&D) in our region remains quite low - less than 1% of the GDP while in EU the figure is 2.3%. To fulfil the promise of today’s smart machines, policies need to be smart too. As part of the EU's new Growth Plan for the Western Balkans, a regional pre-accelerator focusing on deep-tech will be launched soon. We're delighted to see our efforts bearing fruit. We also aim for a segment of this initiative to support early-stage innovation teams beyond deep-tech," said Bregu among other things.

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RCC Secretary General's lecture at the College of Europe

RCC Secretary General's lecture at the College of Europe

23 OCT 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu was a guest lecture at the College of Europe on 23 October 2023 in Bruges, Belgium.

At the lecture dubbed "The Western Balkans and the EU: First-hand insight after the Berlin Process Summit 2023" Bregu said among other things:

"The Western Balkans region is like a canvas painted with all hues of history and diversity, a tapestry of languages, cultures, and painful conflict. Yet it is precisely in this diversity that the true potential for cooperation lies.
If the Balkans seems complicated and confusing, it is because it is. But there is nothing incomprehensible or even covert that doesn’t exist elsewhere."

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RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu speech at the Berlin Process Summit, on 16 October 2023 in Tirana

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu speech at the Berlin Process Summit, on 16 October 2023 in Tirana

16 OCT 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu spoke at the Berlin Process Summit, which for the first time took place in the region, in Tirana on 16 Octber 2023.

"The concerted efforts we put towards mutual recognition of a new set of professions, which now amount to 7 in total, fully based on EU rules – is another symbolic entry ticket to the single market as it can be a crucial step towards recognition of professional qualifications with the EU. It remains imperative though that there are no implementation and enforcement gaps and that the signatures of the agreements are promptly followed by entry into force so that the benefits reach those intended for – our citizens, said Bregu.

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Speech by RCC Secretary General at the first Local Self-Governments  Forum

Speech by RCC Secretary General at the first Local Self-Governments Forum

12 OCT 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu opened the first Local Self-Governments Forum Unlocking the Future: Innovate, Eco-vate, Elevate - Western Balkans Unite for Smart Cities in Tirana on 12 October 2023.

"For the first time in history, the majority of world's people are living in cities. Growing cities face enormous challenges, worsen the most common headaches of city life, such as traffic jams, overcrowded buses, trams, air pollution. Overpopulated cities can also strain vital services, including water supply, energy production, waste management, stress the citizens who cannot afford to buy a new apartment and so on and so forth.
Said this, the other side of the coin is true: cities are increasingly becoming incubators of change and drivers of innovation."

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the Berlin Process Foreign Ministers Meeting

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the Berlin Process Foreign Ministers Meeting

06 OCT 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu spoke at the RCC Secretary General at the EU-WB Foreign Ministers Meeting organised within the Berlin Process by the Albanian Government in Tirana on 6 October 2023.

Bregu took part at the first session together with Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, European Commission, Pascual Navarro Ríos, State Secretary for the European Union, Angelina Eichhorst, Managing Director for Europe at the European External Action Service and Albert Hani, Secretary General, Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO).

"A success story of EU-rules based regional cooperation and a symbolic entry ticket to EU single market saw the light of the day on 1 October this year – when the EU-WB roaming reductions came into effect. It was a demonstration of commitments made and pledges kept. Against a very difficult backdrop in our region currently, this 1 October we managed all together, in close partnership and cooperation with the European Commission, and under the political guidance and support of the European Union and with the support of 38 telecom operators, to see the first roaming charges reductions between European Union and Western Balkans. It might look like an achievement that has been there. After long processes and expectations, people start to take things for granted, but all of us here working on the Common Regional Market Action Plan know how hard it can be. We know how difficult it is to come to a conclusion, and have a success story, " said Bregu among other things.

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Opening speech by the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at Balkathon 4.0 grand finale

Opening speech by the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at Balkathon 4.0 grand finale

03 OCT 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu opened Balkathon 4.0 grand finale in Sarajevo on 3 October 2023.

"Balkathon is more than a competition; it's a canvas for your ideas, a laboratory for your creativity, and a launchpad for your dreams. In the face of the challenges that surround us, it's your novelty that offers hope, your start-ups that breathe life into change, and your ideas that can redefine our day-to-day life,"said Bregu, among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Berlin Process Forum of Economic Ministers

Speech by the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Berlin Process Forum of Economic Ministers

26 SEP 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu spoke at the Berlin Process Forum of Economic Ministers: “Common Regional Market - A Stepping stone towards the EU Single Market on 26 September 2023 in 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, among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at SEECP Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting, New York, 21 September 2023

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at SEECP Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting, New York, 21 September 2023

21 SEP 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the SEECP Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting co-organised by the RCC in New York today.

"The Western Balkans have made significant progress in the last two decades, but the Western Balkans are not where their inhabitants or outside peacemakers hoped we would be twenty-plus years after the guns went largely quiet. Unfortunately, friction among countries persists, and conflicts can hinder investments and economic growth in the region. This, and having in mind the backdrop of these vast geopolitical shifts, we must ponder the evolution of regional entities like SEECP whose value could perhaps be in its pre-negotiation capabilities, its function as a conduit to pre-empt and resolve disagreements before they reach larger multilateral stages. Can we envision SEECP as a regional bastion—a true reflection of South East Europe's unique characteristics, bound by shared values echoing the ethos of the European Union," said RCC SG Majlinda Bregu among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at Tirana Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at Tirana Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting

14 SEP 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting in Tirana.

"Western Balkan citizens have identified these factors important for affecting the perception of security:
- Crime, organized crime, drugs, human trafficking, violence and vandalism (60%)
- Misuse of firearms and arms trafficking (48%)
- Possibility of an armed conflict or political instability in the WB region (47%).
But these are not the only security factors our citizens take into consideration. 7 out of 10 agree that fake news and fake narrative represent a problem for democracy and 74% agree that disinformation represents a security threat to their economies. There are excellent models in the EU that could be mirrored in the Western Balkans, but fighting against security threats at the regional level is just as important. At the end of the day, the goals are simple: security and safety," said RCC SG Majlinda Bregu among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at Tirana Policy Development Forum

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at Tirana Policy Development Forum

14 JUL 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the Tirana Policy Development Forum in Tirana.

"Good to see that cybersecurity and manipulation of information is getting more attention everywhere, our region included, as the Western Balkans is living in the times of friction making it a perfect playground for hybrid threats. They provoke hate, create economy slowback and harm trust in institutions. Organized corruption and the misuse of funds to support the spread of disinformation pose serious challenges to society. Undue financial gains are used to “employ” an army of trollers, to buy influence, and spread fake narrative and propaganda through social media. That’s why the transparency of political parties finance should be a fundamental rule to foster the culture of accountability," said RCC SG Majlinda Bregu among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the European Economic and Social Committee 580th plenary session and  “The future role of civil society in the enlargement process

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the European Economic and Social Committee 580th plenary session and “The future role of civil society in the enlargement process" debate

12 JUL 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the European Economic and Social Committee 580th plenary session and a debate dubbed “The future role of civil society in the enlargement process" held 12 July 2023 in Brussels.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the Dubrovnik Forum

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the Dubrovnik Forum

08 JUL 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the Dubrovnik Forum held 8 July 2023 in Dubrovnik.

"The language of power is the language of leadership. By necessity, and maybe not by choice, the EU is learning every day that speaking the language of power is power itself. European leadership, power, and unity have never been more important, more needed, and more obviously in the interests of EU Member States and other regions worldwide, including the Western Balkans," said RCC SG Majlinda Bregu among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the EU-Western Balkans Regulatory Dialogue meeting

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the EU-Western Balkans Regulatory Dialogue meeting

30 JUN 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the EU-Western Balkans Regulatory Dialogue meeting, in Brussels on 30 June 2023.

“Today’s accession to the Digital Europe Programme for four conomies from our region is a major development enabling them to benefit from a program of almost 7,5 billion EUR. What once seemed almost utopic is now a reality since 2021 - with the regional roaming fees eliminated. We continue to keep our promises on the roaming agenda. During the first Regulatory Dialogue I emphasised the next challenge to reduce the massive roaming charges between the EU and WB. As of 1 October, we expect an average regional reduction by 30% of data cost while roaming. The impact of the slashed costs is as always beyond monetary,” said RCC SG Majlinda Bregu among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the SEECP Summit

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the SEECP Summit

27 JUN 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the SEECP Summit in Podgorica.

"As we meet today for the annual SEECP Summit on the eve of the 20th anniversary of Thessaloniki Agenda and RCC’s 15th anniversary - we witness and acknowledge some undisputable truths. Regional cooperation nurtures, consolidates, transforms. It keeps delivering concretely on the ground despite ups and downs. Yet, it cannot be taken for granted and more cooperation instead of less remains crucial for addressing the recent worrying regional tensions. Also, enlarged Europe that acknowledges that integrated Western Balkans is a genuinely smart investment can be more. Last but not least regional integration through concrete achievements alongside European integration is the best and most credible way forward," said RCC SG Majlinda Bregu among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at Digisustain Conference in Frankfurt

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at Digisustain Conference in Frankfurt

12 JUN 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the Digisustain Conference in Frankfurt.

"We already have tangible results for out citizens from Green Lanes, mutual recognition of diplomas, Travel with ID cards and more. Roadmaps for green transition and digital transformation are in place, but it is up to Western Balkans to follow up and continue our efforts together" said RCC SG Majlinda Bregu among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the Leaders Dialogue Implementing Green Agenda for Economic and Societal Prosperity in the Western Balkans

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the Leaders Dialogue Implementing Green Agenda for Economic and Societal Prosperity in the Western Balkans

07 JUN 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the Leaders Dialogue “Implementing Green Agenda for Economic and Societal Prosperity in the Western Balkan”, held 7 June 2023 in Tirana.

“Ramping-up regional cooperation and integration in EU’s energy and environmental initiatives is the solution. Our region must remain steadfast on the sustainable, green transition and decarbonization path, despite pressing challenges. No U-turns on energy security and green transition are a viable option. Green Agenda for the Western Balkans must be seen in the truly development, growth, opportunities and positive perspective it has. Green Agenda cannot just be seen from a cost perspective, it can be a source of substantive growth in the region,” said Bregu among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the Adriatic and Ionian Council of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (AII) and the Ministerial Meeting of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the Adriatic and Ionian Council of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (AII) and the Ministerial Meeting of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region

24 MAY 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the at the Adriatic and Ionian Council of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (AII) and the Ministerial Meeting of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the high-level meeting on countering firearms trafficking in South East Europe in Brussels

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at the high-level meeting on countering firearms trafficking in South East Europe in Brussels

16 MAY 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the high-level meeting on countering firearms trafficking in South East Europe in Brussels held 12 July 2023 in Brussels.

"There are lessons we learn from roadmaps and lessons we learn in sorrow. Just in the first quarter of 2023, 821 firearm incidents were reported in South East Europe, resulting in 334 victims, while this month started with a devastating death toll from the bloodiest mass shooting in Western Balkans. Recent tragic events in Serbia tell us that damage that comes from light and small weapons is never small and that the use coming from illicit trade or civilian ownership can never be taken lightly.
Where do we go from here? Cooperation among WB6 can play a significant role in reducing illegal firearms from circulation and contribute to a safer and more secure region, support for mental health must be considered, medical and psychological evaluation for gun owners. SALW Roadmap is testimony of region's commitment and great example of regionally-owned process." said RCC SG Majlinda Bregu among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at NGO forum on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at NGO forum on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans

30 MAR 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the NGO forum on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans in Belgrade

"We already have tangible results for out citizens from Green Lanes, mutual recognition of diplomas, Travel with ID cards and more. Roadmaps for green transition and digital transformation are in place, but it is up to Western Balkans to follow up and continue our efforts together" said RCC SG Majlinda Bregu among other things.

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Full speech by the RCC Secretary General at the WHO Forum

Full speech by the RCC Secretary General at the WHO Forum

02 MAR 2023 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the World Health Organization WHO/Europe High-Level Forum on Health in the Well-Being Economy, held 1-2 March 2023 in Copenhagen.

Bregu spoke at the panel "A Well-being Economy Approach to Addressing Cost-of-Living Increases".

“Economic growth cannot be the only and ultimate policy objective. Collective wellbeing, healthy and thriving population where no one is left behind should be the foundation of every growth policy. The ambitious post-pandemic recovery aspirations are crushed against the stark realities of our fellow citizens in South East Europe who struggle with galloping inflation and bills that consume half of their incomes. Sadly, a large portion of the energy shock continues to be absorbed by the public sector, with health and social services being among the first to suffer. We first-handed felt the brunt of demographic pressures and daunting brain drain with 67% of Western Balkans citizens stating their willingness to live and work abroad,” said Bregu among other things.

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Speech by RCC Secretary General at the EU - Western Balkans Summit in Tirana

Speech by RCC Secretary General at the EU - Western Balkans Summit in Tirana

06 DEC 2022 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu spoke at the EU - Western Balkans Summit organised in Tirana on 6 December 2022.

“The first question we were asked after the Roam Like at Home has come to action last July, was when the roaming prices with the EU will be lowered. And that is the first thing we have started working on after that 1 July. So, I’m happy to say that ‘when’ has arrived, the roaming prices between the Western Balkans and the European Union are going down with the leaves next fall. But this is just the start of the process until the final objective of EU-WB roaming prices at the level nearing domestic ones is attained in 2027,” said Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Majlinda Bregu at a press conference with Albanian Deputy Prime Minister Belinda Balluku, EU Enlargement Commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi, EU and WB telecommunications operators’ representatives, following the signing of the Declaration.

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Opening remarks by RCC Secretary General at the 7th Annual Jumbo Security Conference

Opening remarks by RCC Secretary General at the 7th Annual Jumbo Security Conference

18 NOV 2022 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu opened the 7th Annual Jumbo Security Conference on 17 November 2022.

“The EU and the Western Balkans share many evolving, borderless security threats, from radicalisation, violent extremism, and return of Foreign Terrorist Fighters to irregular migration, organised crime, corruption, disinformation and cyber-attacks. Such joint priorities have been re-validated by the war in Ukraine by also making clear the crucial role of the Western Balkans in maintaining peace and stability of Europe’s eastern borders,” said Bregu, among other things.

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Speech by RCC Secretary General at the Western Balkans Berlin Summit

Speech by RCC Secretary General at the Western Balkans Berlin Summit

03 NOV 2022 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu spoke at the Western Balkans Berlin Summit, organised within the Berlin Process in German capital on 3 November 2022.

“Though written off as nearly impossible, after trying and nerve-racking two years, the three RCC-coordinated centrepiece mobility agreements finally see the light of day. Today they reach those intended for - our citizens! Much like the ubiquitous impact of the regional roaming agreement and the green lanes, their manifested impact on the ground will be direct and concrete. ” said Majlinda Bregu, RCC Secretary General at the Summit

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Speech by RCC Secretary General at the Roundtable with the Energy Ministers of the Western Balkans

Speech by RCC Secretary General at the Roundtable with the Energy Ministers of the Western Balkans

24 OCT 2022 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu addressed the Roundtable with the Energy Ministers of the Western Balkans, organized within the Berlin Process Summit 2022 on 24 October in Berlin.

Keeping the torch alight on the implementation of GAWB that was developed in times of stability is a hellishly difficult task in these times of adversity. It is clearly overshadowed by the impact of the war and the pan-European energy price surge.

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Speech by RCC Secretary General at the WB-EU ministerial meeting, organised within the Berlin Process

Speech by RCC Secretary General at the WB-EU ministerial meeting, organised within the Berlin Process

21 OCT 2022 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu spoke at the WB-EU ministerial meeting, organised within the Berlin Process in German capital on 21 October 2022.

“We proudly today showcase that all-inclusive regional cooperation and Common Regional Market deliver results. That the region has agreed on three RCC-coordinated centrepiece mobility agreements whose implementation, much like with the green lanes and regional roaming agreement, will very soon bring their own manifested impact on the ground,” said Majlinda Bregu, RCC Secretary General at the meeting, announcing that the Western Balkans Foreign Ministers approved three regional agreements - on Freedom of Movement with Identity Cards, on Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications, and on Recognition of Professional Qualifications for Doctors of Medicine, Dentists and Architects.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General at Western Balkans Digital Summit 2022

Speech by the RCC Secretary General at Western Balkans Digital Summit 2022

21 SEP 2022 | VIDEO INTERVIEW

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu spoke at the opening of the Western Balkans Digital Summit 2022 which took place in Pristina on 21-22 September 2022.

"Digitalisation in our region has its two sides of the coin. On one hand there have been great broadband connectivity strides, such as Roam Like at Home in the Western Balkans, and massive spread and uptake of e-services. On the other hand, our region is recently struggling with serious cyber-attacks. Our digital literacy is still low, as is the level of cross-border interoperability. Disinformation and fake news flourish. So, the region needs more cooperation, not less." , said Bregu among other things.

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General for the  72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe

Speech by the RCC Secretary General for the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe

12 SEP 2022 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu took part at the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe held on 12 September 2022.

"We are living in challenging times. In 2020, we saw ourselves fighting a pandemic while environmental challenges were at its peak, and on top of them, now we are experiencing a war that is impacting severely energy and food security. The risk of stepping back on health and environment protection and increasing poverty is a menace.
On average, the SEE households allocate some 40-45% of their income to energy and food consumption. In case a new wave of Covid-19 comes up in the upcoming winter and pushes up the average household level of out-of-pocket health expenditures higher, new layers of population groups are to be pushed down to the poverty level."

Download full speech bellow.

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Opening speech by the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at Balkathon 3.0

Opening speech by the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at Balkathon 3.0

06 SEP 2022 | SPEECH

Majlinda Bregu, RCC Secretary General opened Balkathon 3.0 finale in Pristina on 6 September 2022.

Among other things, Bregu said:

"Being true to our focus on the region’s human capital development – we embarked on RCC’s Balkathon trademark journey three years ago.
What was initially a Covid lockdown-born idea – transformed into a sizable regional flagship initiative that is eagerly anticipated by our youth and start-ups.
In three (3) years, we are proud to have an initiative that:
-taps into the considerable potential of ICT sector to boost the added value and exports of services across the region,
-addresses unemployment in a region in which labour force participation rates remain low and youth unemployment is at a staggering thirty-three (33) percent (%) - more than double the EU average,
-creates further opportunities in a region in which thirty-nine (39) percent (%) of citizens are considering leaving for better opportunities abroad."

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Speech by the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Regional Butterfly Innovation Award ceremony

Speech by the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Regional Butterfly Innovation Award ceremony

27 JUN 2022 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu opened Regional Butterfly Innovation Award ceremony in Tirana on 27 June 2022, where six winning innovation ideas from the region were awarded.

"This spring we launched the first Regional Butterfly Innovation Award. ‘What is now proved was once only imagination’- this Blake’s quote fits perfectly the 154 ideas in six competing categories - largely exceeded our boldest expectations. Women led almost half of the teams or most team members were women. This competition proves that innovation can bring together many bright and courageous minds. The RCC has started slowly to support research and innovation in the region and we hope the Butterfly Innovation Award will help the winners take their solutions to another level and shine a light on the regional innovation community and its undiscovered potential. Congratulations to the winners!”

The ceremony, co-organised by the RCC and the European Commission, took place on the side-lines of the Ministerial Meeting of the Western Balkans Steering Platform on Research and Innovation & Education and Training, hosted by the European Commission.

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Opening remarks by the RCC secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the presentation of Balkan Barometer and SecuriMeter surveys

Opening remarks by the RCC secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the presentation of Balkan Barometer and SecuriMeter surveys

24 JUN 2022 | SPEECH

Majlinda Bregu, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) opened the presentation of Balkan Barometer and SecuriMeter surveys, in Brussels on 24 June 2022

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WomEn who Launch: Regional Network of Women in Entrepreneurs - RCC SG Opening remarks

WomEn who Launch: Regional Network of Women in Entrepreneurs - RCC SG Opening remarks

11 MAR 2022 | SPEECH

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu opened the regional event WomEn who Launch: Regional Network of Women in Entrepreneurs, In Tirana on 11 March 2022.

The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) just launching today the first Regional Women in Entrepreneurship Network in the Western Balkans. We will not boil the sea right away. But sometimes the smallest act can lead to the biggest impact. We’ll engage ourselves not only to connect women with each other but also to lend a helping hand with the informational support and mentorship for the start-uppers. And then, together, we will work on common endeavours such as financial challenges, including high start-up costs and equipment/maintenance fees, assets like cash grants or marketing, all the way up to policy making. One thing we at the RCC are sure of is that when women engage, take responsibilities, grow and help each other they can be a rising tide that lifts all boats,” said, among other things, Majlinda Bregu.

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Closing remarks of the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Kick Off event of Youth Policy Lab on Mental Health

Closing remarks of the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Kick Off event of Youth Policy Lab on Mental Health

10 DEC 2021 | SPEECH

Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu gave spoke to almost 50 youth representatives from the region, as well as policy makers and representatives of the European Commission at the closing of the Kick Off event of Youth Policy Lab on Mental Health, which took place in Tirana on 9-10 December 2021.

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Introductory remarks by the RCC Secretary General at the Sixth Jumbo Security Coordination Conference

Introductory remarks by the RCC Secretary General at the Sixth Jumbo Security Coordination Conference

06 DEC 2021 | SPEECH

Speech by the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) at the Sixth Jumbo Security Coordination Conference, organized by the RCC together with the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the French Institute for Higher National Defence Studies (IHEDN), held in Paris on 6 December 2021.

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Video podcast: RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu on regional cooperation

Video podcast: RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu on regional cooperation

18 NOV 2021 | VIDEO INTERVIEW

RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu on priorities RCC is we are working on: EU-WB roaming, mental health and WB Green Agenda

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Talking Points by the RCC Secretary General at the Western Balkans Digital Summit 2021

Talking Points by the RCC Secretary General at the Western Balkans Digital Summit 2021

13 OCT 2021 | SPEECH

Remarks by the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu at the high-level meeting during the fourth Western Balkans Digital Summit, held in Podgorica 11-13 October 2021.

High -level meeting was opened by Montenegrin Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic with the following high-level speakers: Majlinda Bregu, Secretary General, Regional Cooperation Council, Olivér Várhelyi, DG NEAR, EC Commissioner and Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, Director of Country Health Systems and Policies at the WHO Regional Office for Europe.

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Talking Points by the RCC Secretary General at EU-Western Balkans Brdo Summit

Talking Points by the RCC Secretary General at EU-Western Balkans Brdo Summit

06 OCT 2021 | SPEECH

Talking Points by the RCC Secretary General at EU-Western Balkans Brdo Summit held at Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia, on 6 October 2021.

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Talking Points by Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Majlinda Bregu at Western Balkans Berlin Process Summit

Talking Points by Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Majlinda Bregu at Western Balkans Berlin Process Summit

05 JUL 2021 | SPEECH

Talking Points by Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu at the Western Balkans Berlin Process Summit.

Berlin Summit gathered EU representatives and Western Balkans leaders to talk on Regional Cooperation and Common Regional Market.

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Talking Points by Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Majlinda Bregu at 2021 Prespa Forum Dialogue

Talking Points by Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Majlinda Bregu at 2021 Prespa Forum Dialogue

02 JUL 2021 | SPEECH

Talking Points by Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu at the High-Level Plenary Session “Resetting the EU-US Synergy towards the Western Balkans” within the 2021 Prespa Forum Dialogue, in Ohrid, North Macedonia, on 2 July 2021.

Secretary General Bregu was accompanied by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Turkish Minister of Foreign affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Kosovo's* Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Minister of Foreign Affairs from Poland Zbigniew Rau, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Schallenberg and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zoran Tegeltija. Keynote speaker of the Session was North Macedonia's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.



*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

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Meeting of the Ministers of Foregn Affairs  within the Berlin Process’s Western Balkan Summit,  speech by RCC Secretary General

Meeting of the Ministers of Foregn Affairs within the Berlin Process’s Western Balkan Summit, speech by RCC Secretary General

08 JUN 2021 | SPEECH

Speech by the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu at the Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs within the Berlin Process’s Western Balkan Summit, on 8 June 2021.

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Presentation of the Western Balkans SecuriMeter - the first-ever regional Public Opinion Survey on Security, Opening remarks by RCC Secretary General

Presentation of the Western Balkans SecuriMeter - the first-ever regional Public Opinion Survey on Security, Opening remarks by RCC Secretary General

24 MAY 2021 | SPEECH

Intruductory remarks by the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu on the occasion of the Presentation of the Western Balkans SecuriMeter - the first-ever regional Public Opinion Survey on Security, on 24 May 2021.

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FUTOURISMO award ceremony, Introductory remarks by RCC SG

FUTOURISMO award ceremony, Introductory remarks by RCC SG

02 MAR 2021 | SPEECH

Intruductory remarks by the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu on the occasion of FUTOURISMO award ceremony held on 2 March 2021 in an online format.

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5th Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Action in the Western Balkans - Introductory remarks by RCC SG

5th Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Action in the Western Balkans - Introductory remarks by RCC SG

18 DEC 2020 | SPEECH

Intruductory remarks by the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu on the occasion of the 5th Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Action in the Western Balkans, held online on 18 December 2020

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Speech of the Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Launch of RCC-UNDP initiative on women empowerment

Speech of the Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Launch of RCC-UNDP initiative on women empowerment

11 DEC 2020 | SPEECH

Speech by the Regional Cooperation Council's (RCC) Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the launching of the the joint RCC and UNDP initiative 'Women’s Economic Empowerment: Areas for joint actions in the Western Balkans' held online on 11 December 2020.

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Speech of the Secretary General at the Western Balkans Sofia Summit on 10 November 2020

Speech of the Secretary General at the Western Balkans Sofia Summit on 10 November 2020

10 NOV 2020 | SPEECH

Speech of the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu on the occasion of the Western Balkans Sofia Summir, held on 10 November 2020 in online format.

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RCC SG speech at the Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs within the Berlin Process

RCC SG speech at the Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs within the Berlin Process

09 NOV 2020 | SPEECH

Introductory remarks by the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu on the occasion of the Berlin Process ministerial conference, held on 9 November 2020 in online format.

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Opening remarks of the RCC Secretary General at the Western Balkans Digital Summit 2020

Opening remarks of the RCC Secretary General at the Western Balkans Digital Summit 2020

26 OCT 2020 | SPEECH

Speech of the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu at the opening of the 3rd Western Balkans Digital Summit 2020 in Tirana on 26 October 2020

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RCC Secretary General speech at the Berlin Process Interior Ministers' Meeting

RCC Secretary General speech at the Berlin Process Interior Ministers' Meeting

16 OCT 2020 | SPEECH

Speech by the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu at the Berlin Process Interior Ministers' Meeting held on 16 October 2020

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RCC Secretary General speech at the EU-Western Balkans Zagreb Summit

RCC Secretary General speech at the EU-Western Balkans Zagreb Summit

06 MAY 2020 | SPEECH

Speech by the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu at the EU-WB Zagreb Summit held online on 6 May 2020

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Speech by RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Western Balkans Competitiveness and Innovation Accelerator kick-off meeting

Speech by RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu at the Western Balkans Competitiveness and Innovation Accelerator kick-off meeting

21 FEB 2020 | SPEECH

"Without a strategic innovation function that can enhance the capacities to incubate and accelerate the new technologies, companies in this region will continue to stockpiling undeveloped inventions and this will not return in an investment. "
The RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu delivered the speech at the Western Balkans Competitiveness and Innovation Accelerator kick-off meeting held on 21 February in Tirana, Albania.

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Speech by RCC Secretary General, Majlinda Bregu, at the High Level Regional Conference “It’s all about Justice”

Speech by RCC Secretary General, Majlinda Bregu, at the High Level Regional Conference “It’s all about Justice”

04 OCT 2019 | SPEECH

RCC and Albanian Ministry of Justice, organised the High Level Regional Conference “It’s all about Justice” gathering WB6 ministers, representatives of judicial institutions, civil society, and media, in Tirana on 4 October 2019

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