EU & Western Balkan Countries Hold Summit in Trieste

Today, the EU and Western Balkan countries will hold a one-day summit in Trieste, Italy, dealing with three key areas of regional cooperation: connectivity, regional economic integration/private sector development, and people-to-people contacts.

Besides heads of government, foreign ministers, and ministers of energy and transport of the 6 Western Balkan countries of Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, the summit will also be attended by their counterparts from Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, and Slovenia. Also present will be representatives from EU, including High Representative Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

The summit will most probably bring a final agreement on the Regional Economic Area, harmonizing the market of the Western Balkan countries with the support of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The countries are also supposed to sign a Transport Community Treaty, which will integrate the transport networks of the different countries.

Despite all the new initiatives, it is unknown whether the high-voltage interconnection line between Albania and Kosovo will also be on the agenda. The deployment of this crucial piece of energy infrastructure between the two neighboring countries continues to be blocked by the Serbian government.