German Government on “Open Balkan”: Any regional cooperation in the Western Balkans is beneficial
Prime ministers Edi Rama of Albania and Zoran Zaev of North Macedonia, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic are pushing forward the regional initiative of Mini-Schengen rebranded recently as “Open Balkan.” But the three other countries of the Western Balkans – Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia Herzegovina seem reluctant in joining the initiative. But despite scepticism, the regional initiatives are being supported by the United States and Germany.
In an exclusive statement to Gazeta Express the
Federal Government of Germany says that any regional cooperation is beneficial.
German Government says that the cooperation should be inclusive and open to all
six countries in the region.
“Any regional cooperation in the Western Balkans is
beneficial. At the same time, it is important that cooperation remains
inclusive and open to all six countries in the region. Therefore, we strongly
support the Action Plan of the Common Regional Market,” a spokesperson of the
German Government told Gazeta Express.
“The heads of government of the six Western Balkan
countries reaffirmed the commitment to this historic project at the last Summit
of the Berlin Process on 5 July. The urgent task now is to finalize
negotiations of the four agreements on travel mobility with ID cards, travel mobility
for third country citizens and the recognition of academic and professional
qualifications. As German Chancellor Merkel underscored during the press
conference following the Summit of the Berlin Process on 5 July, efforts should
be redoubled to achieve this important step forward until the EU-Western
Balkans Summit on 6 October,” a spokesperson of the German Government said. He
also said that the German commitment to the EU perspective of the Western
Balkans countries, based on the new enlargement methodology, remains unchanged.
Also US stated last week that they support the efforts
of Western Balkan countries to strengthen economic integration and called on
the Government of Kosovo to “open-mindedly” join the ‘Open Balkan’ initiative
to strengthen economic and regional integration. /GazetaExpress/