Thursday, 23 October 2014. PDF Print E-mail
Informal ministerial meeting of the Western Balkans wound up
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The informal meeting of MFA of the WBThe Western Balkans continues to cooperate, because our goal is shared - to ensure a safe environment, political stability and economic prosperity for the region, which would provide a better life for all our citizens, as well as our European perspective - it was concluded at the informal meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Economy/Finance of the Western Balkans, held in Belgrade.

The Ministers also discussed programmes that can stimulate economic growth and attract foreign direct investment in the region, improve structural reforms, regional cooperation and infrastructure projects.

Today's meeting, entitled "Economic governance and connectivity", is a continuation of the conversations in an informal meeting in Kotor in July this year, the consultations on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last month, and at the high-level Berlin Conference devoted to the Western Balkans on 28 August 2014.

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic said, in opening the meeting, that since the launch of the initiative to hold meetings in the format indicated, it has had a specific beneficial effect on strengthened action, dialogue and cooperation in the region. Finally, the Serbian Foreign Minister particularly thanked the outgoing European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule for his dedicated commitment which contributed to this format being consistently implemented and ties in our region and the European Union as a whole being improved.

Commissioner Fule conveyed that the European Commission was ready to support better transport and energy connections in the WB, and that for this purpose one billion euro would be allocated through IPA funds, and soft loans from international institutions amounting to 10 billion euro would be provided by 2020. Better interconnections in the region and the comprehensive economic reforms will send a strong signal to potential investors, says the outgoing European Commissioner for Enlargement.

At the end of the meeting a joint declaration was adopted, which envisages that the region, in cooperation with the European Commission, will coordinate the economic cooperation and connect more intensively in the economic sectors, thus creating opportunities for economic growth and new jobs.