Berlin, 4 November 2022 (TDI): Leaders of the Western Balkans Six signed three agreements on November 3, as part of the Berlin Process, delivering a strong message in advance of the pivotal Western Balkan summit scheduled for Albania in December.

The Berlin Process Summit brought together the leaders of Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Albania.

German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and the highest representatives of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel also attended the Summit.

The meeting’s host, Scholz, stated that “Europe without the Western Balkans is not complete and that the nations in the area should have trust in the Berlin process.”

The format was started in 2014 by former German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and aims to enhance regional integration by fostering rapprochement between the six Western Balkan states and particular EU countries

The Western Balkans leaders’ regional plan to unite the six countries; the Common Regional Market, & the implementation of the Economic & Investment Plan (EIP), which was introduced in October 2020, were the main topics of discussion at the summit.

Also Read: EU proposes strengthening Western Balkans security 

The signing of three new accords establishing the Common Regional Market, which would promote employment and freedom of movement throughout the region, was hailed by the European Union (EU).

The agreements cover regional ID travel, academic qualification recognition, and profession-specific qualification recognition. It will significantly increase regional cooperation and transportation.

The leaders of the region also agreed to intensify their efforts to implement the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, which is in line with the EU’s Green Deal. This agreement was made in a declaration on cooperation in the area of energy security.

In addition to promoting greater energy diversity and cleaner energy, this cooperation will hasten national energy market reforms to bring them into compliance with EU regulation

President of the European Council, Charles Michel congratulated Balkan states on landmark agreements by stating, “I congratulate Western Balkans leaders for signing three regional agreements on mobility today that will help turn Common Regional Market into reality.

The Western Balkans can also count on EU’s support in the energy sector and with reinforcing resilience to hybrid threats”.

Berlin Process

The goal of the Berlin Process is to advance regional cooperation among the Western Balkan nations and their inclusion into the European Union.

At yearly and interim Western Balkan Summits, Civil Society Forums, Business Forums, and Youth Forums, regional and European decision and opinion makers assemble.

It began with the 2014 Berlin Conference and continued with summits in 2015 in Vienna, 2016 in Paris, 2017 in Trieste, 2018 in London, and 2019 in Pozna.

The Berlin Process was started in response to growing Euroscepticism and the five-year expansion embargo imposed by the then Commission’s President, Jean Claude Juncker to stabilize and preserve the dynamics of the EU integration process.