Varhelyi backs ‘Open Balkans’ initiative, calls on other countries to join

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EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi took part in the Open Balkans Forum to express the European Commission’s support for the initiative. He said that as long as the Berlin Process and the common European market are not available to the Western Balkan countries, this initiative is a replacement that moves them forward.

“We believe that based on EU values, any regional cooperation is not only welcome, but also beneficial to both sides, which means that it is in the best interest of the Balkans, but also in the best interest of the European Union. Of course it would be ideal to find a way back to the regional common market, but I understand that you want to move forward until that happens. Let me take this opportunity now to call on the other three partners to return to this regional cooperation, as it not only increases business opportunities, but is also in the best interests of consumers, offers increased employment, but can it also changed the reality on the ground,” said Varhelyi.

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