Kosovo Prime Minister And German Ambassador Urge Strengthening Of Common Regional Market

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Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and German Ambassador Jord Rohde discussed agreements to strengthen the Common Regional Market established last year between the six South Eastern European countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo, and Serbia.

“We hope to reach agreements in the framework of the Common Regional Market (CRM) which treat all participating countries equally and encourage development and democratization in the region, of which citizens are the final beneficiaries,” Kurti’s office stated on Wednesday after the meeting.

They also discussed the next Berlin Process summit between the six countries and the European Union, set to be held in October in Slovenia.

The CRM was established in November 2020 under the Berlin Process – a platform under the umbrella of the European Union that aims to strengthen cooperation between the six South Eastern European countries and their integration into the European Union.

A robust action plan attached to the CRM foresees projects to improve the region’s economy, infrastructure, environment, security, with potential investments of up to 29 million euros.

The six countries removed roaming tariffs between them in July 2021, while more agreements are expected to be signed in the next summit, covering travel mobility with ID cards, travel mobility for third country citizens, and the recognition of academic and professional qualifications.

Parallel to the CRM, the leaders of Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia have launched the Open Balkan initiative. It specifically focused on the free movement of people, goods, services and capital in the region, which are also included in the CRM.

However, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Montenegro have so far refused to join the Open Balkan, despite repeated calls by initiators. They argue that an initiative like the CRM under the Berlin Process is more inclusive and more beneficial to the region and each country.

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