The European Union is preparing an energy support package of one billion euros in grants to help the Western Balkans face the immediate consequences of the energy crisis and build resilience in the short and medium term, said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, at the Western Balkans Summit in within the framework of the Berlin process.
“The EU continues to support the Western Balkans – both in good times and in difficult times.” During the covid-19 pandemic, we mobilized an unprecedented €3.3 billion package for the region, and now we are introducing a €1 billion energy support package to protect the most vulnerable groups and encourage much-needed investment in energy diversification. We are investing in the economic stability of the region in order to advance the clean energy transition and emerge greener, stronger and more sustainable from the current crisis,” Von der Leyen said.
The commission is ready to provide budget support of 500 million euros, which will be adopted in December and available in January. The financial support is intended to support households and small and medium-sized enterprises to mitigate the effect of rising energy prices and their impact.
At the Summit, the leaders of the six Western Balkans signed three agreements on mobility, which enable travel with an ID card in the region, mutual recognition of university diplomas and professional qualifications.
The agreements were signed by Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić, Prime Ministers of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovačevski, Prime Minister Dritan Abazović of Montenegro, Edi Rama of Albania, President of the Council of Ministers of BiH Zoran Tegeltija and Prime Minister of Pristina’s temporary institutions Aljbin Kurti.
The agreements were signed in the presence of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, as well as the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Majlinda Bregu.