German Ambassador for the "Open Balkans": It does not seem to be a comprehensive initiative

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German Ambassador Jorn Rohde said that the German Chancellor is promoting the Berlin Process because they have started it, but added that they will not criticize countries that want to strengthen regional cooperation through the "Open Balkans" initiative.

But he raises the question of whether it will be a comprehensive initiative, because as he said, "At the moment this does not seem to be the case because there are some countries that are not part of the Open Balkans."

"In all his visits over the past week, the Chancellor has been clear that he wants to revive the Berlin Process, and he said this at the press conference held here. Secondly, these are not just words but concrete deeds for the conference to be convened and especially about the issues to be discussed for the regional market ", he said.

"We have started the Berlin Process, our Chancellor is promoting the Berlin Process, so it is clear. But we will never criticize states that want to strengthen regional cooperation. The main question is whether it will be a comprehensive initiative, and at the moment this is not necessary because there are some countries that are not part of the Open Balkans. Do we need another process? On the other hand, in some cases it happens that parallel processes are created in case the first option does not work ", said the ambassador.

According to the ambassador, the agenda of the Berlin Process in the autumn will be the regional market, the recognition of diplomas. According to him, this will be among the countries of the Western Balkans.

"Therefore, we must channel all our energy for the first process to work. "This is similar to the failure of the World Trade Organization to establish a world regime, so for 50 years, trade deals come out all the time, so in politics, often the second option remains the only option we can approach.", he added.

"Two issues, first in the fall, a leaders' conference will be held, which will be convened by the Chancellor. When the leaders of the region are invited, of course, results are expected, so there are diplomats working in the background in the hope of ensuring that all six leaders of the Western Balkans and members of the Berlin Process will not sit at that table knowing that they do not nothing will come out of that meeting ", said the German ambassador.

The Berlin Process was created in 2014 between the rise of Euroscepticism and the then EU decision that there will be no admission of new members in the next five years.

Meanwhile, in the framework of the "Open Balkans" initiative, Albania, Serbia and Northern Macedonia have reached a series of agreements, which are said to aim at improving regional cooperation.

The agreements include, among other things, the movement of their citizens with ID cards, co-operation in facilitating the import and export of goods, as well as a memorandum of understanding and co-operation for free access to the labor market.

The three initiators of the "Open Balkans", the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, and the former Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, have conceived this concept in 2019 with the aim of, as stated , creating an area of ​​free movement of people, goods and services in the Western Balkans.

Kurti has said before that the "Open Balkans" initiative is more like one "Balkans open to Eastern influences" rather than an initiative for a common regional market.

The President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, has said earlier that the "Open Balkans" is not built on the principles of regional cooperation and that in this initiative, the six countries of the Western Balkans are not treated equally.call