PERSPECTIVES OF REGIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION: FROM THE CEFTA AGREEMENT, THROUGH THE ACTION PLAN FOR THE COMMON REGIONAL MARKET TO THE EU SINGLE MARKET
On July 21, 2022, the Montenegrin Pan-European Union organized the presentation of the book entitled: REGIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION V4 AND WB6: SHARING EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE IN THE CONTEXT OF COMMON REGIONAL MARKET AND POST-COVID RECOVERY in the European House in Podgorica within the project of the same name, which is supported by the International Visegrad Fund, whose founders are the governments of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.
In addition to 10 chapters from 10 countries and recommendations for improving regional economic cooperation, the book explores the current topic of regional economic integration of the Western Balkans and critically analyzes proposed models such as the CEFTA 2006 agreement, the Action Plan for Common Regional Market (AP for CRM) within the Berlin process, which was supported by WB6 – six governments and EU in November 2020, as well as new proposals such as the Open Balkans initiative from 2021, which failed to bring together all countries of the WB6 region.
The speakers at the presentation were Prof. Dr. Gordana Đurović, president of the Montenegrin Pan-European Union, who presented the results of the project (https://youtu.be/puIrYEN-rjo ), Slovakia’s ambassador Boris Gandel (https://youtu.be/IV8nRP6etNM ), who spoke about the International Višegrad . fund, Hungarian Ambassador József Négyesi highlighted Hungary’s experience in regional economic integration (https://youtu.be/tAEd_ESTwFs ), and Czech Ambassador Janina Hrebickova (https://youtu.be/F9Uh3rp8FOY ), who emphasized the use of regional economic integration through the experiences of the Czech Republic and the priorities of the presidency of the Council of the EU in this period.
Gordana Djurovic, the head of research team, presented the e-book structure and its recommendations, with special focus on differences between current proposals of the Action plan for Common Regional Market within the Berlin process for WB6 and the Open Balkan initiative of WB3. You can download the project presentation here.
The research results will be presented on 15 September 2022 at the international conference in Podgorica.
The book is the result of the work of a research team that brought together 21 researchers from four countries of the Visegrad Group – V4 (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary), as well as six countries of the Western Balkan region WB6 (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia).
The project is focused on the exchange of experiences of regional economic cooperation within the framework of the European integration process between the Visegrad Group and the countries of the WB region, transfer of knowledge and recommendations for further regional economic cooperation of the WB6 countries. The focus is on strengthening the Common Regional Market for WB6, using the experiences of ex-CEFTA countries, as well as the cooperation of these countries today within the European Single Market.
The added value of this project is that it brought together project partners from 10 organizations from V4 and WB6 countries: 1. Montenegrin Pan-European Union (leading partner), 2. Center for Social and Economic Research, CASE, Warsaw, Poland; 3. Robert Schuman Institute, RSI, Budapest, Hungary; 4. Institute for Politics and Society – Czech Republic; 5. MESA 10 – Center for Macroeconomic and Social Analysis, Bratislava, Slovak Republic; 6. Center for Foreign Policy, CFP, Belgrade, Serbia; 7. Albanian Centre for Economic Research, ACER, Tirana, Albania, 8. Finance Think – Economic, Research and Policy Institute, Skopje, North Macedonia, 9. Foreign Policy Initiative, FPI BH, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; and 10. Institute for Development Research, Riinvest, Pristina, Kosovo.
In addition to the book with recommendations for the continuation of European economic integration within the framework of integration towards the EU, the project organized a webinar on the removal of obstacles in regional trade, a round table dedicated to the integration path from the CEFTA agreement to the European Single Market and a series of additional lectures, publication of professional papers, participation in conferences, forums and debates on the topic of European economic integration of Montenegro and the region.