The European Commission has adopted its 2015 package of pre-accession assistance programmes to support reforms and regional cooperation in countries wishing to join the EU.
Hahn has on a business summit on the Western Balkans in Paris estimated that, despite the obvious benefits, “there are plenty of room for improvement” in the reforms in the transport and energy sector, on which agreement was reached at the previous summit in Vienna, according to the European Commission.
– We have decided to provide 96 million euros for the three railway infrastructure projects in Serbia, Albania and Kosovo. We will also provide 50 million euros for measures such as energy efficiency in residential buildings and small hydro projects – said Han, adding that this shows the seriousness of the intention of the EU to invest up to one billion euros in transport and energy infrastructure in the countries of the Western Balkans in the framework of the Plan connectivity by 2020.
One of the greatest challenges in the preparation of the Western Balkan countries to the EU was, according to him, the restructuring of the economic model that all countries have a functioning market economy, based on exports and investment, rather than on imports and consumption.
The European Commissioner has stated several problems that the Western Balkans is facing, including lack of funds for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, the informal economy and the need to improve the quality of education in order to increase employment.