Rama: Regional cooperation brings us closer to the EU

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Prime Minister Edi Rama defended the idea of a closer regional economic cooperation as the “right initiative”, but also “delayed”.

The region cannot continue to remain a hostage of the past in any aspect, and whoever doesn’t understand how small we are when apart, when it comes to growing our economies, create more workplaces, to open new perspectives for better-paid jobs, especially for our youth, is doomed to live in the past”, said Rama.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, North Macedonia’s premier, and PM Edi Rama are eying to sign an agreement after the forum, which according to them will facilitate the movement of goods, services, and people among the three countries.

The leaders defended the initiative as a means to convince the EU of their integration progress.

“What is the reason that we must stay here locked inside our borders, with our backs turned against each other as we’ve lived for 500 years, meanwhile our paths to the EU, have their own time, rhythm, and conditions, not only on what we are doing but also from others think of us”, said Rama.

In addition, Rama extended once again an invitation to Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to join the Open Balkans, the new name of the formerly called “mini-Schengen”.

Asked from Euronews Albania, the office of the Prime Minister of Kosovo denied having received an invitation to participate at the forum.

“The Novi Sad initiative does not have our approval, and as a result, we did not have any official invitation to participate in the forum”, our correspondent in Kosovo cited the office of the Prime Minister as saying.

“To us, the so-called ‘Mini-Schengen’ is an initiative that lacks a vision for the region”, it added, as it urged other Western Balkan countries to remain committed to the agenda of the European Union.

Rama emphasized that “whoever wants to join the initiative is more than welcome to do so”.

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