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Prof. Dr. Ioanna Batsialou, Director and Owner of Ioanna Regen Polyclinic

Sun YES, Ageing NO

Despite the common belief that medical aesthetic treatments are only performed in winter, our need for care is much greater during the summer, says...

Peter Novak, Managing Director at Kolektor Etra

Transformers for the Most Demanding Consumers

Ljubljana-based Kolektor Etra has a tradition of producing power transformers that dates back over 90 years. It is present with its products in more...

Danijela Bojović, Project and Real Estate Manager, Napred

Napred: Synonymous with Progress

Over the past 75 years, Belgrade-based company Napred has established a formidable presence in 10 countries across three continents. This company has consistently emerged...

Djordje Djokic, Senior Partner, Djokic + Partners

Building a Brand Through Quality

Djokic + Partners is considered one of the top law firms in the banking and financial sectors due to its profound understanding of business...

Wolt

Wolt is Transforming the Delivery Industry

Speed, sustainability and growth are supported by technological innovations This headline recently emerged from a Bloomberg interview with Matko Katanec, Wolt Regional Director for CEE...

Milorad Filipović, Professor at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Economics

The Plan Is Good, But Not Generous

The Western Balkan countries’ public investment needs are incomparably higher than the amount earmarked for the plan, which means that it will continue to be extremely important for these countries to have access to the international capital market

The countries of the Western Balkans are back in the “focus” of EU policy following several years in which all attention was focused on the conflict in Ukraine. Following a certain degree of mutual fatigue in cooperation between the EU and the Western Balkan countries, due primarily to contrasting interpretations of that cooperation, it is as if Europe’s developed countries realised that the Western Balkan region – and Serbia in particular, as the largest economy in that region – also has other alternatives besides the EU when it comes to economic, financial and political cooperation.

China’s rising economic influence and Russia’s political influence in Serbia send a signal to the EU that it must lead a more active policy in the region if it wants to integrate it into EU structures. This was stressed openly by Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán in a recent interview with the Austrian media, with him adding that the number one priority of Hungary’s EU presidency, from 1st July 2024, will be Serbia’s swift integration in order to prevent the country from slipping towards China or Russia. As such, the €6 billion European growth plan should represent the main motivational “carrot” for Western Balkan countries.

An emphasis should be placed on applying the highest standards in the construction of infrastructure, as well as advanced technologies that would raise the level of competitiveness of the Western Balkan countries

Although the European growth plan seems impressive at first glance, it is but a drop in the ocean when compared to the grants awarded to Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria in their accession processes. This is particularly accurate when considering that the plan in question applies to five (or 6, according to the EU) Western Balkan countries. On the other hand, the public investment needs of the Western Balkan countries are incomparably higher than the amount earmarked for the plan, which means that it will continue to be extremely important for these countries to have access to the international capital market. The priority in the Western Balkans’ development should be given to connecting these countries in terms of infrastructure (roads, energy connections, transport and information infrastructure), as well as increasing mutual exchanges of goods and services. An emphasis should be placed on applying the highest standards in the construction of infrastructure, as well as advanced technologies that would raise the level of competitiveness of the region’s countries.

As for Serbia and the nationalised plan to develop through EXPO 27, it is striking that there has been no presenting of the study that was prepared (by consulting company Horváth) with the aim of acquiring this project. As with any investment study, it should have considered the cost-effectiveness of the project, the kind of financial construction envisaged, the expected effects until 2027 and beyond etc., all the way up to the financial and socioeconomic analysis of the return on the investment. Unfortunately, political events unfolding in 2024 threaten to cast serious doubt over the possibility of utilising funds from the European plan due to the setting of political conditions. And this would cause the complete disruption of Serbia’s plans and the possibility of achieving high growth rates (the World Bank predicts growth of 4.5% for Serbia in 2025).

Comment by Zoran Panović

From Lavrov to Macron

Despite the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) having signed a Cooperation Agreement with Putin’s United Russia, and despite SNS President and Serbian PM Miloš Vučević...

Goran Radosavljević, Ph.D. Vice Dean and Director of the FEFA Institute

We Need to Quadruple Our Growth Rate

Reducing corruption, reforming the energy sector and fundamentally changing the secondary education system are the keys to faster economic growth It was two months ago...

Luka Baturan, University of Novi Sad Faculty of Law

Arbitrary Tax Breaks Degrade the System

The biggest job that Serbia has to do – and it pertains to tax regulations – is to radically reform personal income tax and...

Nebojša Bjelotomić, Director of the Digital Serbia Initiative

Instead of Walls and Machines, We’re Investing in People and Their Knowhow

For countries with a falling population, it is recommended that all remaining workers “climb” the ladder of industrial worth. However, this means dealing far...

Andrej Plenković Re-Elected as HDZ Leader with Overwhelming Majority

Andrej Plenković has secured another term as the leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), winning 84,786 votes in...

Serbia and Egypt Sign Landmark Free Trade Agreement

In a significant move to bolster economic ties, Serbia and Egypt have signed a Free Trade Agreement along with...

United States Adds $18 Million In New Funds To Development Partnership With Serbia

Today, the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced an additional $18 million...

Montenegro Nominated for Europe’s Most Desirable Destination Award

Montenegro has been nominated for the prestigious title of Europe's most desirable destination in the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards...

Serbia Signs Memorandum on Nuclear Energy Development

In a significant move towards modernizing its energy sector, the Serbian government, along with twenty scientific and academic institutions,...

Andrej Plenković Re-Elected as HDZ Leader with Overwhelming Majority

Andrej Plenković has secured another term as the leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), winning 84,786 votes in...

Serbia and Egypt Sign Landmark Free Trade Agreement

In a significant move to bolster economic ties, Serbia and Egypt have signed a Free Trade Agreement along with...

United States Adds $18 Million In New Funds To Development Partnership With Serbia

Today, the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced an additional $18 million...

Montenegro Nominated for Europe’s Most Desirable Destination Award

Montenegro has been nominated for the prestigious title of Europe's most desirable destination in the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards...

The International “Aleksandar Tišma” Literary Award ceremoniously presented to French writer Cécile Wajsbrot

The third International “Aleksandar Tišma” Literary Award was ceremoniously presented to French writer Cécile Wajsbrot on June 24, 2024,...

Andrej Plenković Re-Elected as HDZ Leader with Overwhelming Majority

Andrej Plenković has secured another term as the leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), winning 84,786 votes in...

Serbia and Egypt Sign Landmark Free Trade Agreement

In a significant move to bolster economic ties, Serbia and Egypt have signed a Free Trade Agreement along with...

United States Adds $18 Million In New Funds To Development Partnership With Serbia

Today, the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced an additional $18 million...

Montenegro Nominated for Europe’s Most Desirable Destination Award

Montenegro has been nominated for the prestigious title of Europe's most desirable destination in the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards...

The International “Aleksandar Tišma” Literary Award ceremoniously presented to French writer Cécile Wajsbrot

The third International “Aleksandar Tišma” Literary Award was ceremoniously presented to French writer Cécile Wajsbrot on June 24, 2024,...
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