CEFTA at the Berlin Process 2022 Western Balkans Summit

November 3, 2022

Four CEFTA agreements on the table awaiting adoption

Berlin, 3 November 2022Mr. Emir Djikic, Director of the CEFTA Secretariat, presented in Berlin the key CEFTA achievements, focusing on measures with direct benefits for people and businesses. Speaking at the Western Balkans Summit under the auspices of the Berlin Process he congratulated the Western Balkan Leaders and Regional Cooperation Council on signing three mobility agreements and called for speeding up the adoption process of the agreements reached under the CEFTA framework.

“CEFTA has made implementing CRM an absolute priority. To date, we completed the work on four new Joint Committee Decisions awaiting adoption”, said Mr. Djikic enumerating a series of agreements that are either fully agreed upon but at the same time are missing the most crucial step – adoption by the Joint Committee:

  • Decision on facilitation of electronic commerce that will support our small and medium companies who sell online, simplifying laws and regulations for selling in the entire CEFTA market.
  • Decision on inter-Party parcel delivery services and Decision on prevention of unjustified geo-blocking), that would ensure the same level of consumer protection, price transparency, and removal of unjustified geo-blocking practices to  millions of people who shop online.
  • Decision on the recognition of AEOS Programmes, that would enable trustworthy CEFTA companies to export under simplified customs procedures.

CEFTA Parties experts are close to concluding the negotiations of another six additional agreements fulfilling the promises the Western Balkans’ leaders gave in 2020 – promises  to recognize certificates, permits and licences targeting engineers, travel agencies, tour operators, producers and traders of honey.

Mr. Djikic reminded of the success of an extension of Green Lanes with Greece and Blue Lanes with Italy which would not be possible without CEFTA’s partnership with the Transport Community and the support of RCC and the European Commission.

“We are happy that ice is broken and that more EU Member States expressed interest to join”, said the Director of the CEFTA Secretariat and added: “Green Lanes are important reminder that the region can deliver innovative solutions which can even be extended to the EU”.

Mr Djikic also congratulated Western Balkan leaders and Regional Cooperation Council on signing the mobility agreements and announced this year’s CEFTA Week conference to be held in Brussels on 9 December, when CEFTA traditionally takes stock of the current chairmanship (Moldova) and presents the Chair in Office for the following year (Montenegro).

CEFTA is a free trade agreement covering Western Balkan Six and Moldova signed in 2006. The Joint Committee is the governing body of CEFTA, established in by the Agreement and composed of representatives of all Parties. CEFTA Secretariat is the body established by the Agreement to support the Joint Committee in delivering the CEFTA agenda. More on: https://cefta.int/structures/

Common Regional Market Action Plan 2021-2024 is strategic framework for economic integration of the Western Balkans endorsed by its leaders in 2020, under the auspices of the Berlin Process. CEFTA has been tasked to deliver measures enabling EU compliant free movement of goods and services and crosscutting measures. Full implementation of the economic integration in the region can bring up to  6.7% GDP additional growth. More on: https://cefta.int/legal-documents/

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