The Mini Schengen initiative will contribute to the economic integration of the region, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will support this and similar initiatives, said EBRD Head for Bosnia and Herzegovina Manuela Naessl.
– This initiative would create a larger economic space, making for more opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and workers from all countries of the region and from other countries – Naessl said for Nezavisne Novine from Banjaluka.
According to her, Mini Schengen, along with other initiatives, such as the Multiyear Action Plan for the Regional Economic Zone, would push the region forward.
– The crucial thing in these initiatives is for all-encompassing, but realistic goals to be set and to focus on the implementation. A transparent supervision process that would be controlled by the public would help give momentum to the reforms – she said.
She reminded that the EU had provided a total of EUR 750 million of macrofinancial help to the countries of the Western Balkans and added that the EBRD was the leading provider of funds for many projects envisaged in the new economic investment plan of the EU for the Western Balkans.
– These are real investments, the implementation of which could begin within two to three years and will contribute to regional connections and economic connections in the Western Balkans – Naessl said.
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