Breaking News
Get 40% Off 0
Is NVDA a 🟢 buy or 🔴 sell? Unlock Now

EU urges reforms, single market in Western Balkans to boost membership bids

Published Oct 16, 2023 03:04PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attends a press conference at the Berlin Process, leaders' summit in Tirana, Albania, October 16, 2023. REUTERS/Florion Goga

TIRANA (Reuters) - The European Union wants to bring six Western Balkan countries closer to membership of the bloc but wants them first to implement reform and create their own single market, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

Having been promised EU membership years ago, the accession process across the region comprising Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia has slowed to a crawl, mainly due to reluctance among the bloc's 27 members and a lack of reform throughout the region.

Von der Leyen, attending a summit of the Berlin Process in Tirana - a German initiative aimed at improving cooperation in the Western Balkans, said the EU and the region must now bring their economies closer together.

"We really have to tap into the potential ... in the Western Balkans and get it closer to the European single market," she told a news conference in the Albanian capital.

Leaders from across the region joined von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama at the summit.

Von der Leyen said the new growth plan that would include the opening of the EU’s common market to the Western Balkans in areas such as free movement of goods and services, transport, energy and the digital single market, would also require deep-rooted reforms.

"These reforms will be accompanied by funding for investment from the EU, if they take place," she said.

According to the EU Commission, a 30 billion-euro economic and investment plan for the region offered by the EU in 2020 has so far triggered investments worth 16 billion euros there.

Von der Leyen said that if the Western Balkan nations create their own common market it would boost their economies by a combined 10%.

Scholtz said the Berlin Process was "the best instrument" to speed up the integration of Western Balkan countries.

“Any progress you make on the common regional market will bring you significantly closer to EU standards,” he said.

Last year, Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia signed mobility agreements allowing people to travel and work in the three countries with just their identity cards. On Monday, the six countries agreed to continue with mutual recognition of professional qualifications.

Serbia and Montenegro were the first in the region to launch EU membership talks, and Albania and North Macedonia then began talks with Brussels last year. Bosnia and Kosovo still lag far behind their neighbours in the process, however.

($1 = 0.9482 euros)

EU urges reforms, single market in Western Balkans to boost membership bids
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your investing.com profile, will be public on investing.com and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Derick Lim
Derick Lim Oct 16, 2023 6:51PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
More like joining a monopolistic hipocrite membership
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email