Six Balkan Countries to Join the EU Single Market
Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia to join the EU Single Market.
The European Union (EU) has revealed a growth plan for six Western Balkan countries - Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. This plan offers these countries access to parts of the EU single market in exchange for substantial reforms. The reforms include improving the regulatory structure for business, fighting corruption, and eliminating organised crime.
The EU's new growth plan allows these countries to enter the EU market in specific areas on a case-by-case basis, provided they demonstrate the required reforms. The areas include goods and services, road transport, energy, electricity, customs cooperation, e-commerce, and cashless payments.
Countries that comply swiftly with the reforms will receive investment. The EU has proposed a €6 billion investment package, €2 billion of grants, and €4 billion of loans. The funds will be released upon delivery of reforms.
The six Western Balkan countries are at different stages of integration into the EU. Serbia and Montenegro launched membership negotiations a few years ago, followed by Albania and North Macedonia last year. Bosnia is a candidate country but yet to open negotiations, while Kosovo is a potential candidate.