November 05, 2020 | Thursday

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Emrush Ujkani: “Mini Marshal” Plan for Western Balkans Development

The announcement made this May at the Zagreb Summit that the European Union planned to prepare a much more detailed Western Balkans investment platform, was reconfirmed this October. Such a plan comes at a very critical time for Western Balkans countries, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The primary focus for the 9 billion Euros designated for the 2020-2021 period under IPA 3, is to generate the economic development of these countries through various investments.  The European Union even named it the “EU Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans”.

What makes the EU approach even more interesting and concrete in this case, is the possibility that the countries of the Western Balkans will have the opportunity to benefit from a special window: “Western Balkans Guarantee Facility”.

The main priority of this plan is to improve the interconnectivity of the economies of the countries of the region in the first place, and then secondly with the countries of the European Union.

Given these facts, it can be argued that such a strategy can be called a Mini Marshal Plan. But the comparison can be even more convincing if the countries of the Western Balkans themselves are more correct with themselves, their citizens, but also the European Union, if they translate such an investment into concrete results which make these countries and economies more prosperous, but also politically stable.

It is high time for the countries of the Western Balkans to treat EU integration as a top priority, because sooner or later there will be no alternative to such a process. Therefore, let us act now, so that tomorrow won’t be too late.

 

Emrush Ujkani,

Executive Director – European Investors Council

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