The EU is offering €6 billion worth of investments to the countries of the Western Balkans to help them carry out the reforms necessary for integration with the bloc. This was stated by EC President Ursula von der Leyen during her visit to Skopje on Monday. Her visit to the Macedonian capital is part of her four-day tour of the countries of the Western Balkans, during which the EU will present the bloc’s plan for the development of the region.
On the same day, Von der Leyen also visited Pristina, where he met with the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani Sadriu. The President of the EC will also visit the capitals of Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he will meet with the leaders of the countries of the region.
Plan for the development of the region
According to Ursula von der Leyen, the EU’s development plan aims to stimulate the economies of the countries of the Western Balkans, which she says “has the potential to double the size of your economy in a decade”. The EU plan includes opening the common market for the countries of the Western Balkans in seven areas, including free movement of goods and services, transport and energy. The President of the EC also called on the countries of the region to create a common regional market, the creation of which will “increase the GDP of the Western Balkans by 10%”.
The EU package represents an excellent opportunity for the Republic of North Macedonia, as it can double its economy in just 10 years. Despite the promising opportunities, Skopje’s economy still has to catch up with its 42% of average income in the European Union.