Director of the CEFTA Secretariat, Mr. Emir Djikic emphasized the importance of delivering the Common Regional Market agenda on the 2022 Prespa Forum Dialogue

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Ohrid, 17 June 2022 – Director of the CEFTA Secretariat, Mr. Emir Djikic took part at this year Prespa Forum Dialogue “Shaping Western Balkans future in the contemporary european security architecture”.

Participating at the panel session “65 years after the Treaty of Rome: is Europe fully economically reconstructed and integrated?” , panelists were discussing the Common Regional Market and the EU Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans as ways forward to underpin the economic recovery, convergence and integration of the region to the EU Single Market, but also were addressing the urgent need for undertaking robust economic, infrastructure and financial measures as a precondition to successfully integrating into the EU.

“Strengthening economic cooperation between the Western Balkan economies is more important than ever. Western Balkan leaders have made strong commitments to contribute to the economic development of the region, but now those commitments are calling for action, streamlined with one voice and joint drive. It is also crucial to keep momentum of the tangible results we achieved together so far and unleash the growth potential by enhancing the regional economic integration. 65 years of the Treaty of Rome teaches us that the Common Regional Market is a way to do it. Focusing on a vision of “EU alike” market, we have set up ambitious priorities for this year, aiming to further facilitate trade in goods and services in CEFTA and develop new mechanisms to enhance trade among the Parties.”– said Mr Djikic during the session.

The session was opened by the Prime Minister Mr. Dimitar Kovachevski and addressed by the EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Mr. Olivér Várhelyi. Among the panelists were prime ministers and ministers from the region and high level representatives of the regional organisations.

The participants emphasized the importance the urgent need to recover the economy, but also referred to the importance of the collaboration between the CEFTA Parties and speed up the processes under the Common Regional Market.

“The sooner we start delivering, the closer the EU Single Market will be to us, as reaffirmed in the Economic and Investment Plan. We share the EU values and can contribute to its progress and prosperity. Inclusive regional integration and European integration are just two parts for one economic reality.” added Djikic.

As all Europe is confronted with dramatic and unprecedented developments with possible wider impact, the second edition of the Prespa Forum Dialogue (PFD) 2022 has covered the most pressing security, political and economic issues Europe and the Western Balkans are faced with. Considering the urgent need of fast the regional economic cooperation and recovery, particularly in the light of the Common Regional Market, EU Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, the importance of CEFTA agreement is more than necessary in rebuilding a resilient economic environment and upholding strategic partnerships in the light of the geopolitical awakening.

The idea of the Prespa Forum Dialogue is to enable a fruitful intellectual and political debate, through formal and informal meetings which would produce ideas for processes, practical solutions, and possible solutions to open issues of regional and global character and should offer an essential incentive to promote and enrich regional cooperation.

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