We have been too far away and it must not be so in the future so as not to reach the deadlock of the EU, said today the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs of Northern Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov at the conference “Open Balkans – Road to Stabilization, Cooperation and Prosperity of the Region”:
– We should send the message that as a region we are stable and that we find solutions, not problems, to be directed towards the future and not to be prisoners of the past. The open Balkans is the main step in that direction – Dimitrov assessed, addressing the gathering via a video link.
He stated that the countries within the initiative must create a single market, based on the free flow of people, goods and capital and investments, which will help the green transition.
– That will help us on the road to the EU. Most of the EC’s recommendations directly address this. When we are close, then it brings growth, stability, prosperity and strengthening – Dimitrov pointed out.
He stated that with the current growth rate, the countries of the region can reach the average level of development in the EU in six decades, and that according to the World Bank in 2016, 26 million hours a year were spent waiting at the borders in the region.
– The owners of the companies say that they lack manpower and that it reduces economic development. It is important for everyone to remove the barriers, which will improve the image of the region in front of foreign investors. That is why regional cooperation is not an alternative to European integration, but is in line with them – said Dimitrov.
He pointed out that governments must keep young people at home, because when they leave, human capital is lost.
– They go because they want a European way of life. If we want them to stay, we have to make it possible for them at home – said Dimirtov.
He added that the Open Balkans initiative is open to all countries in the region and that it is crucial that the three member states of the initiative show results.
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