The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, on its 30th session held on 27 March 2020, was the first from the Western Balkans countries to uphold the Western Balkans “Green Corridors” initiative.
The Macedonian Government on the session discussed and adopted Information on regional and EU activities to facilitate the transport and trade of goods following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, and adopted the Joint proposal prepared by the Permanent Secretariat of the Transport Community and the CEFTA Secretariat to facilitate the transport and trade of essential goods within the Western Balkans, and has obliged the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia in cooperation with the relevant state bodies (Ministry of Finance – Customs Administration, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Interior Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Transport and Communications) to coordinate related activities, by implementing the measures contained in the Joint Proposal of the Permanent Secretariat of the Transport Community and the CEFTA Secretariat.
The “Green Corridors” Initiative aims to facilitate trade and transport of goods by tackling only additional precautionary measures taken or to be undertaken to ensure containing of COVID-19 outbreak. The customs and other controls of goods in legitimate trade remain under the trade rules of CEFTA and the rules stemming from the Stabilization and Association Agreements (SAA) between the EU and the regional partners.
The proposed approach is based on two pillars and two stages: identification of a restricted number of road priority border/common crossing points and key ports that should continue to operate in all circumstances, and identifies a series of “green axes” linking the Western Balkan Six together on which free traffic flow should be granted, together with a restricted number of gas stations, which may remain opened even in case of potential containment of the population.
The initiative, upon acceptance by all 6 WB countries, in the second stage will further on enable the interconnection of the WB’s and the EU’s Green Corridors to ensure no blockage and free flow of transportation of goods.