EIB President Hoyer participated at the Western Balkans Summit Berlin 2021 that held virtually on 5 July, titled Seven years of the Berlin Process: Bringing the region closer together – achievements, present and future objectives.
Heads of state from the Western Balkans and selected EU countries, as well as international financial institutions and regional organisations who are members of the Process, attended the Summit
This 8th Berlin Process Summit focused on the achievements to date, the additional efforts needed to boost connectivity in the region and economic progress. It reviewed progress in the ambitious commitments undertaken by the Western Balkan partners including the Common Regional Market (CRM), the Green Agenda and the Digital Agenda (GAWB), as well as the Connectivity Agenda and to look forward to the roll out of the European Commission’s Economic and Investment Plan.
President Hoyer used this opportunity to highlight the EIB’s commitment to the Berlin Process and the Bank’s role in implementing the Connectivity Agenda, as well as a EUR 1.7 billion support delivered by the EIB to accelerate recovery of the region from COVID-19 under Team Europe initiative. He also expressed the EIB’s support for the transition of the Western Balkans to a greener, more digital and more sustainable economic model, in terms of infrastructure and private sector development. President Hoyer also underlined the need to ensure that strategic investments in the region are underpinned by sustainable financing.
The Berlin Process was instigated by Germany in 2014 to provide a high level platform to encourage reform in the Western Balkans. Germany was joined by Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, Poland, Bulgaria and Greece (“Host countries”) and the EC provides support to facilitate progress.
The process entails annual summits with the 6 Western Balkan partners, WB6 (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) at heads of state level discussing progress and ambitions for different sectors.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.