The 2017 western Balkans summit took place in Trieste, Italy
It was a good opportunity to discuss about key areas of regional cooperation and set out concrete measures to better connect the region’s infrastructures, economies and people.
Following the Summit, the high representative/Vice-president said:
At this important summit hosted by Italy we first of all confirmed the perspective of the european Union integration of the western Balkans. All the 6 partners in the western Balkans clearly want to be more integrated in the european Union, determined to have a future in our union for all of them; once the right reforms are passed, we will be very consistent from our side. Secondly, many new practical projects were confrimed and a transport community Treaty was signed, opening new connections. So, practical steps and european perspective, a very successful summit.
The european Presidency and the european Commission co-signed, on behalf of the european Union, the transport community Treaty with 5 western Balkan partners.
The summit called on Bosnia and Herzegovina to sign as soon as possible.
This important achievement will pave the way for infrastructure improvements as well as better quality transport services throughout the region.
The treaty will help put into action reforms affecting people’s everyday lives, for instance in the field of road safety.
By providing more stability, it will also attract new investors in the region and add to its economic growth.
Finally, this Treaty will help the western Balkan countries align their national transport laws with those of the european Union, thereby strengthening neighbourly relations, promoting cross-border cooperation and ultimately bringing these countries closer to the european Union.
Today’s meeting was part of the “Berlin process”, an initiative for stronger regional cooperation in the western Balkans.
The participants included european member States, Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia and the United Kingdom. All participants also expressed great satisfaction with the prospect of further high level events in the region itself.
At the end of the Summit, the european commission together with the italian national government, has organized an european – western Balkans youth forum, brought together more than 100 young leaders and representatives of youth organisations from the western Balkans and the european Union to debate mobility, inclusion, entrepreneurship and youth participation.