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Serbian leader extols idea of ‘mini Schengen’ for Western Balkans

Leaders of Balkan states hold video conference ahead of economic forum on regional cooperation

Talha Ozturk   | 23.07.2021
Serbian leader extols idea of ‘mini Schengen’ for Western Balkans

BELGRADE, Serbia 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic held a virtual meeting Thursday with the prime ministers of North Macedonia and Albania ahead of a summit next week on a ‘mini Schengen’ initiative for a joint economic area in the Western Balkans.

"A successful conversation with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Edi Rama in preparation for the regional economic forum that we will be organizing on July 29 in Skopje. It's a regional initiative that will connect us and improve the lives of our citizens. Together, we're building a new European Balkans, Vucic said on social media.

Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia are together organizing the Economic Forum for Regional Cooperation in the Western Balkans in the Macedonian capital Skopje.

The forum ​is being organized within the framework of the Four Freedoms Initiative, colloquially known as “Mini Schengen,” launched by the leaders of Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia in October 2019.

The primary goal of the initiative is to make existing regional initiatives more effective in order to achieve practical and visible results for citizens of the Western Balkans.

It aims to lead to the establishment of a common regional market which, as a transitional form, should bring the region closer to the European Union and accelerate the path to full membership.

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