Screening of the “Open Balkan” initiative – Country analyses
Within the “Assessing and streamlining the potential of the Open Balkan Initiative” project, the Center for Economic Analyses (CEA) from Skopje published a report on research task 1: Screening of the Open Balkan Initiative – Country Analyses.
The report states two general observations regarding the practical implementation of regional economic integration by thematic areas. First, the OBI (Open Balkan Initiative) is intertwined with the operational regional agreement (CEFTA) or regional initiatives (MAP REA and CRM AP), especially in the area of free movement of goods and workers, also the areas in which the OBI has gone the furthest in terms of implementation.
The second general observation is that the political commitments of countries participating in OBI are vertically oriented, and they are implemented slowly. Most of the political promises repeated at OBI summits and public appearances by OBI leaders have yet to be operationalized. The process of ratification of OBI agreements takes a long time, especially in North Macedonia. To date, the labor market agreement and the agreement on the interconnection of electronic identification schemes are the only trilateral agreements ratified by all three OBI participating countries.
Experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia (CEVES) participated in the preparation of the report.