Regional Economic Area for the Western Balkans: broader trade implications and implementation challenges for Kosovo

April 13, 2018

Authors

Private: Arbëresha Loxha
economic development and welfare policy

In July 2017 the Trieste Summit took place between the representatives of EU and the six Western Balkan countries. The Summit was held under the auspices of the Berlin Process, an intergovernmental cooperation initiative launched at a similar summit in Berlin in 2014. Hosted by Italy, the Summit was attended by leaders of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, as well as officials from EU member states Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, France, and Germany. The Trieste Summit provided an opportunity to progress on the achievements of previous Summits (Berlin, Vienna, Paris) – as well as in several areas of cooperation, in particular in the connectivity agenda, as one of the core element of the process, and in the regional integration process.

This Policy Analysis initially analyses the added value of the REA as an upgrade of CEFTA. Following this, it examines potential benefits of the REA for the region and Kosovo in particular, as well as challenges that can negatively impact its successful implementation. Finally, it analyses the risks associated with the possibility of introducing governing custom regimes within the REA in the future and implications this would have for Kosovo, at a time when enlargement is not on the EU agenda.

Policy Analysis

Regional Economic Area for the Western Balkans: broader trade implications and implementation challenges for Kosovo

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