Western Balkan Leaders and Ministers Commend Transport Community and CEFTA’s Efforts to Enhance Green Lanes

KOTOR – The Western Balkan Leaders and Ministers of European Affairs and Finance gathered for Ministers’ Meeting and Leaders’ Summit “One Region, Common Vision” in Kotor, Montenegro on 15 and 16 May 2024. The meetings discussed regional cooperation, and strategies aimed at fostering economic prosperity and integration across the region, most notably the European Commission’s Growth Plan for the Western Balkans.

The Leaders and Ministers endorsed the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat and CEFTA’s efforts to enhance the Green Lanes initiative by extending it between the Western Balkans and the European Union Member States and creating a Comprehensive roadmap on Green Lanes.

Joint statement from the leaders of the Western Balkans Six (WB6)

Addressing the Leaders and Ministers during the two meetings, Transport Community Permanent Secretariat Director, Mr Matej Zakonjšek, explained the logic of the roadmap, highlighting its pillars and planned actions for enhancing the Geen Lanes.

“This roadmap divides actions into three pillars with three aims: Decreasing of waiting time at the border crossing points; Increasing the border crossing capacities in terms of human resources, IT and digitalisation, and infrastructure improvements; And, making the border crossing points more safer and secure,” Mr Zakonjšek underlined.

At the Ministers’ meeting, held on Wednesday, Ms Maida Gorčević, Minister of European Affairs of Montenegro, and Mr Gert Jan Koopman, Director-General of the Directorate-General Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, set the stage for substantive discussions ahead and provided insights into the current state of affairs and outlined the roadmap for future endeavours.

Reflecting on priorities from previous meetings, participants engaged in constructive dialogue on initiatives such as SEPA access, advancing transport facilitation through Green Lanes, implementing WiFi4WB, and establishing Digital Innovation Hubs.

Finally, the meeting discussed setting new milestones and priorities to drive the Growth Plan forward. Topics including Conformity Assessment and the Proposal for Single Market Academy, the implementation of Digital Wallets, and the formation of Critical Medicines Alliance garnered substantial attention as the Ministers deliberated collaboration and synergy.