Berlin has prepared a “special programme” for the Western Balkans which could be “the compensation for region’s long wait to join the European Union”, the Vecernje Novosti daily reported on Tuesday.
Citing diplomatic sources, the Serbian daily reveals that Germany has a “mini Marshall plan” that will improve the economies of the region in years to come; this programme is to be approved by the European Council soon, according to the account. EC should also establish a special fund for the Balkans countries.
The official name of the plan is “Berlin Plus” and it will also be supported by European Economic Zone and EFTA countries. “The available funds are not known yet, because donor campaigns are yet to be organized; however, taking into account the scope of the project they (available funds) should be significant. The idea is to make our region an economically attractive area in short term”, according to Vecernje novosti.
Among other things, these funds could be used for establishing new enterprises. The aim is also to create infrastructural network including highways that would interconnect Serbia and Bosnia and Belgrade with Tirana. However, these projects were launched within the framework the so-called the Berlin process in 2015.
According to the plan, the EU would get qualified workers and a technologically prepared region. The improvement in standards would take the region closer to the EU. In this way, the period of uncertainty in next couple of years – in which there will be no further EU enlargement due to the block’s numerous crises – would be eliminated.
The additional objective of the “Berlin Plus” is to reduce the level of tension in the Western Balkans which is region that holds a great security importance for Germany. The summit in Trieste next month will be an opportunity for producing more concrete plans regarding the Berlin Plus.
This post is also available in: Italiano