McAllister: Stagnating Western Balkans will not be eligible for new EU funds

The Western Balkans countries backsliding or stagnating on fundamental values or failing to align with the European Union’s (EU) foreign policy cannot be eligible for financial assistance through the new Reform and Growth Facility for the Western Balkans, said chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs David McAllister.

McAllister was addressing the European Parliament Joint Budget Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee, at which the European Commission discussed the establishment of the Reform and Growth Facility for the Western Balkans of 6 billion euros for the period 2024-2027.

Under the European Commission proposal, the Facility consists of 2 billion euros in grants and 4 billion euros in loans for the reform of political legal and economic systems in order to bring the Western Balkans countries closer to the European Union (EU) and so accelerate the speed of their accession to the EU.

According to Gert Jan Koopman of the European Commission, the Western Balkans economies are not converging rapidly enough with the EU.

He said their average per capita income stands at about a third of the EU, their progress has been very limited, which creates many problems and that it is, therefore, necessary to help the reform processes of the future EU members.

The growth plan for the Western Balkans is based on four pillars: strengthening economic integration with the EU single market, strengthening economic integration within the Western Balkans through a common regional market, accelerating fundamental reforms and increasing financial assistance to support reforms through the Western Balkans Reform and Growth Facility.

(Danas, 24.01.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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