The EU announced today, as part of the global response to the coronavirus outbreak, up to €38 million in immediate support for the Western Balkans to tackle the health emergency caused by coronavirus and reallocation of €374 million to help the socio-economic recovery of the region.
At the request of the partners, the Commission is responding to immediate needs by supporting the supply of medical devices and personal equipment, such as ventilators, laboratory kits, masks, goggles, gowns, and safety suits.
The Commission is also including the Western Balkans in EU initiatives to tackle the coronavirus crisis like the joint procurement schemes of protective personal equipment and has accelerated the implementation of a project with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The EU will also redirect funds from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) to help the recovery in the Western Balkan partners in the short and medium term. This will include support to the private sector, increasing social protection, with a specific attention to the vulnerable groups, and strengthening resilience in the public health sector.
The European Commission is also working closely with International Financial Institutions and relevant financing institutions from EU Member States as TEAM EUROPE to provide a coordinated response to support the real economy, including SMEs, and support liquidity, also of the banking sector.
In addition, the Commission is working with the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the Secretariats of the Transport Community Treaty and the Central Europe Free Trade Area (CEFTA) to address issues affecting the supply and the facilitation of movement of goods within the region, and between the region and the EU. To this end, the Commission has included EU-Western Balkans border-crossing points located along the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) in its Communication on “Green Lanes” of 23 March 2020. The EU is now supporting the Western Balkans in expanding the green lanes within the region.
Additional support measures are coming in the next days.
For further information please read the complete press release by the Commission Spokesperson’s Service
The Western Balkans Six Chamber Investment Forum is co-funded by the European Union through the project “EU Support to the Western Balkan Six Chamber Investment Forum“. This three years long Project is funded through the IPA II Multi-country Action Program 2018 and has officially been launched on December 19th 2019. during the CEFTA week in Tirana.