Source: Večernje novosti | Thursday, 29.07.2021.| 15:06
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“Open Balkan” a New Name for Mini Schengen – Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia Sign Agreements on Facilitated Export and Free Access to Labor Market

Illustration (Photo: ASDF_MEDIA/
At the regional economic forum in Skopje, a new name and logo for Mini Schengen were presented. From now on, the initiative is called “Open Balkan”.

The president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, and the prime ministers of North Macedonia and Albania, Zoran Zaev and Edi Rama, signed three documents in Skopje that will facilitate trade in the region and enable a single labor market, but also mutual help in extraordinary situations.

The leaders of the three countries signed the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in facilitating the export, the import and the movement of goods in the Western Balkans, the Memorandum of Understanding regarding free access to the labor market in the WB and the Agreement on Cooperation in Disaster Protection in the WB at the regional economic forum, within the Mini Schengen initiative.

The first memorandum will increase and enhance the economic cooperation, and simplify the procedures regarding the export, the import and the movement of goods to the greatest extent possible.

It will also contribute to the exchange of data between customs and other competent organs to the extent allowed by the legislation of each of the parties to the agreement.

Also, it envisages the promotion of a harmonized development of the economic ties between the parties to the agreement through the expansion of trade and a gradual removal of barriers to the goods exchange.

The Agreement on Cooperation in Disaster Protection in the WB aims for the parties to the agreement, in line with their capacities, to help each other in case of disasters, when the party to the agreement that seeks it is not capable of handling the consequences of the disaster by using its own resources.

With this agreement, the signatory states regulate the framework of the conditions for the voluntary provision of help in case of disasters, especially when it comes to: the planning and execution of protection measures for floods, earthquakes, fires, environmental pollution, sailing accidents, radiology risks, various pandemics, as well as industrial and other disasters.

It also envisages mutual notifying about the threats, the occurrence and the consequences of disasters.

The mutual help in rescue, provision of help and removal of consequences of disasters by land and air forces and vehicles for interventions in cases of mass fires, floods, earthquakes and other disasters.

The plan also includes education and training of the staff of the services and units for protection and rescue, fire units and other members of rescue teams through briefing, courses, training, seminars and other forms of cooperation, as well as the organization and execution of joint rescue training and help training, as well as the exchange of scientific and technical data, as well as other documents of importance for disaster protection.

Also, the plan entails cooperation in development and protection of rescue and aid equipment.

The Memorandum for free access to the labor market in the WB aims to simplify the procedures for all the parties to the agreement regarding the obtaining of the working permits for the citizens of each of the three countries and regarding the use of the obtained working permits in the territory of any of the three states.

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