The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) hosted a video-conference consultations with representatives of the six Western Balkan countries, European Union and other regional stakeholders on joint activities to mitigate the consequences of coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing the participants of the video conference, RCC Secretary-General Majlinda Bregu said that information-sharing, coordination and cooperation were of crucial importance for effective response to pandemic.
“It is of utmost importance to leave the corridors open for the region to supply with medicines, medical equipment and food in the first place. We have the responsibility to act urgently and make a decisive contribution in ensuring the continuity of economic activity, preserving the operation of supply chains and preventing the worsening of the social and economic difficulties that our region is already experiencing”, said Bregu.
Participants of the conference, including representatives of authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as representatives of the EU, Transport Community, and the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), presented situations in their respective economies and fields of work and future plans, with all actors in the region stressing the vital importance of establishing green corridors within the region and the EU.
“The RCC is ready to continue facilitating this information-sharing platform among all relevant stakeholders, and also widen the network to all our South East Europe participants, and neighboring countries, with regular communication to check the situation on the ground and review the options for tackling it”, said Bregu.
“Our next steep, as agreed, is to prepare joint conclusions to enable the region to work on setting up a green corridor enabling smooth circulation of goods within the region and beyond. It will build upon the principles of ensuring economic continuity, avoiding disruptions to the delivery of goods and essential services across Western Balkans and beyond, to protect health and livelihood of our citizens”, she explained.
According to Bregu, region’s request towards the EU would be to allocate the unused Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) funds for the possible emergency requests from the region.