New Growth Plan

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The new Growth Plan for the Western Balkans (2024) is based on four pillars, aimed at:

  • Enhancing economic integration with the European Union’s single market
  • Boosting economic integration within the Western Balkans through the Common Regional Market
  • Accelerating fundamental reforms
  • Increasing financial assistance to support the reforms through a Reform and Growth Facility for the Western Balkans for the period 2024-2027, a new financing instrument

As part of this Growth Plan, the Commission has identified seven initial priority areas: 1) Free movement of goods, 2) free movement of services and workers (including e.g. the recognition of skills and qualifications), 3) access to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), 4) integrating Road transport, 5) integrating Energy markets, 6) digital Single Market (including strengthening cybersecurity links), and 7) integration into industrial supply chains (e.g. by developing strategic partnerships on sustainable raw materials value chains or the supply of critical medicines).

The support will be provided through loans disbursed directly to the national budgets and the support for mature infrastructure investments identified through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF). The Reform and Growth Facility serves as the centrepiece of the Growth Plan, significantly increasing financial assistance based on an ambitious reform agenda focusing on necessary socio-economic reforms coupled with fundamental reforms, including on the rule of law and fundamental rights. This is complementary to and mutually reinforcing with the current financial assistance under IPA III.