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State Secretary Raščan attends the opening of the Balkan Forum

State Secretary Stanislav Raščan attended the opening of the Balkan Forum, organised by Greece as part of the one-year Presidency of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) via video conference. The debate focused on the sustainable development of the countries of the region in the post-COVID period.

State Secretary dr. Raščan stands in front of the teleprompter with which his address is being recorded, Slovenian and European flags in the background

State Secretary Raščan | Author Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve

“The socio-economic recovery of the Western Balkans is one of the EU’s priorities. The key to sustainable economic growth, global competitiveness, job creation and citizens’ well-being is the EU’s single market. It is crucial for the smooth functioning and resilience of the Single Market that legislation adapts to the new challenges of the digital age and the green dimension of the Single Market," stressed State Secretary Raščan.

The participants of the Forum welcomed the implementation of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans. The plan will see the mobilisation of around EUR 30 billion over the next seven years for the region, together with EUR 9 billion in grants and EUR 20 billion in investments launched by the new Western Balkans Guarantee Facility.

The aim of the EU-Western Balkans Summit, which Slovenia will host in early October, is to provide a Euro-Atlantic perspective for the region and to resolve common issues in the context of strengthening the resilience of the Western Balkan countries.

It is imperative that the countries of the region and the EU address the enlargement process in the debate on the Western Balkans. This is also one of the key priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It is vital to include the Western Balkan countries in discussions about the future of Europe. EU enlargement must move forward with credibility and at an appropriate pace.