European Commission president unveils new Western Balkans initiative

Bratislava: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced here a new initiative for the Western Balkans, which she described as “a big step towards them”.

As part of the “new growth plan for the Western Balkans,” four types of measures are envisaged: bringing the region closer to the EU single market; deepening regional economic integration; accelerating fundamental reforms; and boosting pre-accession funds, von der Leyen said in a keynote speech at the three-day GLOBSEC’s 2023 Bratislava Forum that ended on Wednesday.

She noted that some reforms on the part of Western Balkan countries, such as in the judiciary, public procurement and the fight against corruption, will still need to be met in advance for the region to fully benefit from the fresh EU’s initiative, Xinhua news agency reported.

The GLOBSEC’s 2023 Bratislava Forum attracted more than 1,000 participants from 60 countries.


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