Montenegrin Pan-European Union in cooperation with the Union of the Robert Schuman Institute for Developing Democracy in Central-Eastern Europe (RSI), Budapest, Hungary organized roundtable titled „From CEFTA to the EU single market: lessons learned from V4 to WB6“ in an online format.
The roundtable is an activity of the project „V4 support to promote WB6 Common Regional Market: one market for post-COVID recovery“ co-financed by the Governments of Czech Republic a, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund.
Project partners of this project are the following 10 organizations from 10 countries: 1. Montenegrin Pan-European Union (lead 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 – Macro Economic and Social Analyses Centre, Bratislava, Slovak Republic; 6. Centre for Foreign Policy, CFP, Belgrade, Serbia; 7. Institute for Development Research, ASER, 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, Prishitine, Kosovo.
The aim of this online event was, through the experiences and recommendations of the Visegrad Group countries (V4), as well as the challenges of regional integration of countries in the region – WB6 (foreign trade policies of the region, CEFTA 2006, Common Regional Market within the Berlin Process, Open Balkans Regional Initiative and other initiatives), to share experiences of previous and views on future regional economic initiatives, on a common path towards the EU.
Speakers at the webinar were Šarka Shoup, from Institute for Politics and Society – Czech Republic, Agnieszka Pechcińska, from Center for Social and Economic Research, CASE, Warsaw, Poland, professor László Árva, from the Robert Schuman Institute, Budapest, Hungary, Martin Hudcovský, University of Economics in Bratislava, Faculty of National Economy, Bratislava, Slovakia, Faruk Hadzic, Foreign Policy Initiative, FPI BH, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina , Milica Muhadionovic, Montenegrin Pan-European Union and University of Montenegro, and Bojan Srbinovski, Finance Think – Economic, Research and Policy Institute, Skopje, North Macedonia. Gordana Djurovic, head of the project team, gave opening and concluding remarks, whilst Alessandro D’Onofrio (RSI) and Petar Raicevic (MPEU) were facilitators.
The CEFTA as regional free trade area of the Central Eastern European countries was established in 1992 by V4, and it became a successful economic integration story, as all of the Eastern European countries that once were part of CEFTA, are now members of the EU and its Single market. Countries of the Visegrad group, especially used economic integration that came with CEFTA and EU membership to boost their trade and gradually strengthen their economies. Many indicators support this trend.
The roundtable provided an open and cooperative space for dialogue between project team, researchers, academia representatives, and other attendees from V4 and WB6 countries. The Roundtable is an important source of data and analysis in favor of finalizing the e-book (main project result) and recommendations for improving and directing regional economic cooperating inside two regions and between them.
The webinar was attended by 44 participants. After the presentations of the speakers, a discussion with the participants followed.