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Western Balkans Summit in Sofia: Important steps to advance regional co-operation to boost socio-economic recovery and convergence with the EU

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Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi is taking part remotely in the Sofia Summit, co-chaired by Bulgaria and North Macedonia within the Berlin Process. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell also addressed the gathering via video-message. The initiative gathers the six Western Balkan partners, nine EU member states and regional organizations.

The European Commission welcomes the commitment by the Western Balkan leaders to further strengthen regional cooperation as a way to advance on their European path. The region's positive response to the Economic and Investment Plan, its commitment to enhanced connectivity and the expected endorsement this afternoon of key initiatives such as the establishment of a Common Regional Market, the launch of a Green Agenda for the Western Balkans and further support to Roma integration will help accelerate the post-pandemic recovery by stimulating sustainable economic growth.

Leaders at the summit are also to welcome the 2020 connectivity package with six projects in the areas of sustainable transport and clean energy presented by the Commission under the Western Balkans Investment Framework. This package constitutes the first step towards the implementation of the flagship projects of the Economic and Investment Plan, while at the same time completes the delivery of the EU's 2015 pledge to deliver €1 billion in support of connectivity in the region.

A press release will be published after the summit here, while Commissioner Várhelyi's intervention will be available here. Video messages of the President and HRVP will be available on EbS.

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