Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi announced that the European Union is sending € 38 million in emergency aid to the health care system of the Western Balkan countries.
More than € 373 million is planned for the socio-economic recovery of the region from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Olivér Várhelyi wrote on Twitter.
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The Western Balkans Green Centre will initially make available around 1.2 million euros to drive green investments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.
The European Commission will propose changes to the system for letting new countries into the European Union to give existing members more say, in a bid to mollify France which has vetoed expansion of the bloc to six countries in the Balkans.
In October, President Emmanuel Macron halted the process of admitting Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and North Macedonia.
"There are established rules for the accession process," Sassoli said at a news conference in Brussels.
Asked what the UK's exit from the EU means for the Western Balkan countries and whether any of them will be the ones that will take up its vacancy, he said that in addition to the established rules, there is a need for exchange of ideas and dialogue when it comes to enlargement.
A credible enlargement process of the European Union is a strategic investment and the accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia should be opened "without further delay or preconditions," Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Wednesday, as he participated in an event that marked the taking over by Croatia of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The Executive Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (BSMEPA) has initiated a meeting with leaders of organizations responsible for innovation development and start-up ecosystems in the Western Balkans region, with its main objective being to give new impetus to business integration between countries in the region.