Bushati in Rome: coordination of the Western Balkans Summit priorities

Upon invitation of his Italian counterpart, Angelino Alfano, Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati attended the Western Balkans Summit preparatory meeting, which will be held in Trieste on July 12, as the next stage of the Berlin Process, follow up of the summits organized in Berlin (2014), Vienna (2015) and Paris (2016).

Interlocutors expressed mutual commitment that the Trieste summit will draw the countries of the region closer to the European Union, through the concretization of the commitments made in previous Summits, especially as regards infrastructural and energy projects but also by designing new instruments for the economic development of the region.

Minister Bushati underscored that “It is necessary that all participating countries contribute to consolidate the achievements of the Berlin Process both from the perspective of political dialogue and from the implementation of transport and energy connectivity projects”.

Alongside proposals for greater integration between the economies of the countries of the region, Minister Bushati emphasized that “The Berlin Process, and ideas or initiatives flowing from it, cannot under any circumstances replace the EU accession process. On the contrary, the process initiated in 2014 should produce instruments that accelerate membership and ensure that rule of law generates economic development”.

In this context Minister Bushati welcomed the commitment of the Italian Party for holding the Summit, as well as the innovative proposals of the Italian Presidency in the preparation of concrete measures in the field of innovation and development of small and medium-sized companies in the region.

“This pragmatic approach is the only one that can increase the region's ability to be more competitive and to attract investments, by bringing growth and employment”, stated Minister Bushati.

The European Commission is currently working on a plan of measures for the free movement of workers, increasing investments and facilitating trade in the region aiming at approximately 80,000 new job creation by 2025. It is expected that this plan of measures and relevant financial instruments will be proposed during the Trieste Summit in July. 

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