Conclusions and Agreements – Berlin Process Summit 2023 in Tirana

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Conclusions and Agreements – Berlin Process Summit 2023 in Tirana

Progress in regional cooperation and ongoing challenges were assessed, building on previous Ministerial Meetings. The Western Balkans Six (WB6) welcomed a Growth Plan and committed to advancing regional economic integration through the Common Regional Market, underlining the importance of domestic reforms and organized crime combat.

A collaborative spirit marked discussions on bridging the socio-economic gap between the Western Balkans and the EU. Participants showed interest in fostering cooperation in various policy areas, aiming to enhance regional economic convergence. Several agreements and pacts were celebrated, including the Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications and reduced data roaming charges between the EU and the Western Balkans.

Youth, education, and research were pivotal topics. The establishment of the College of Europe campus in Tirana was lauded as a significant step towards fostering EU affairs expertise across the region. The need for increased investments in research and innovation was underscored, alongside recommendations for establishing Research and Technology Excellence Hubs.

The summit also discussed the potential Value Chain Partnership between the EU and the Western Balkans, considering the region’s strategic importance in the context of Critical Raw Materials and batteries. This partnership aims to prioritize investments in research, innovation, and sustainable mining practices.

In trade, transport, and digital connectivity, the need for boosting investments in transport infrastructure was a focal point. The participants supported various declarations aimed at enhancing connectivity and called for increased efforts towards trade facilitation.

Environmental consciousness permeated discussions, with the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans being a focal point. Leaders endorsed the Joint Declaration of Intent on the Regional Climate Partnership, underscoring the necessity for a green transition and private sector investments in energy efficiency, renewables, and sustainable development.

Security issues were also highlighted, with an emphasis on deeper regional cooperation and enhanced information sharing to tackle organized crime and strengthen cybersecurity. The establishment of the Western Balkans Cyber Capacity Centre marked a significant milestone.

Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo were acknowledged, with a collective call for dialogue and reconciliation. The participants highlighted the importance of good neighborly relations and regional cooperation for EU integration.

The Roma integration was applauded, with the adoption of conclusions from the Fourth Roma Ministerial outlining steps for implementation in education, employment, digital field, and civil registration.

Looking ahead, Germany’s willingness to host the next Leaders’ Summit in 2024 was welcomed, marking the 10th anniversary of the Berlin Process, symbolizing the ongoing commitment to regional cooperation and integration into the EU framework.

https://www.berlinprocess.de/en/the-berlin-process-is-coming-back-to-berlin

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