A Path Leading to Four Freedoms
In 2019, the initiative for more intensive cooperation in the Western Balkans was launched by three leaders – President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and Prime Ministers of the Republic of Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia, Edi Rama and Zoran Zaev, with the aim of free movement of goods, services, people and capital according to the EU model. The Open Balkan is a support to the current regional initiatives, their implementation, and a response to the requirements of the economy, companies and real life. The Initiative launched under the name Mini Schengen has been renamed to the Open Balkan Initiative, and all the economies in the region can join it.
During the years 2019, 2020 and 2021, a series of meetings, fora, and summits were held (in Novi Sad, Tirana, Ohrid, Skopje, Belgrade, Niš, and Tirana), within which many declarations and agreements were signed, thus giving the Open Balkan the legal framework and foundations for concrete activities and facilities.
At the Summit, which was held in Tirana on 21 December 2021, the following agreements were signed: the Agreement on conditions for free access to the labour market in the Western Balkans, the Agreement on the interconnection of schemes for electronic identification of the citizens, and the Agreement on cooperation in the field of veterinary, phytosanitary, and food and feed safety. The Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania signed the Agreement on mutual recognition of authorised economic operators for security and safety (AEOs), whereas the Government of North Macedonia and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania signed the Agreement on mutual recognition of authorised economic operators for security and safety (AEOs). In addition, the Agreement on cooperation of accreditation bodies in the Western Balkans was also signed on the margins of the Summit. These documents will become effective in the first quarter of 2022, and their implementation will enable businesspeople and citizens to trade, travel more easily, as well as to employ the staff they lack and economically get integrated faster.
Agreements and Documents
Development of the Initiative