Common Regional Market in the Western Balkans

03 Jan 2022 News
Common Regional Market Benefits

The Common Regional Market Action Plan 2021-2024 (CRM) for the Western Balkans is the key strategic document endorsed by the region's leaders (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) at the Berlin Process Summit held on 10 November, 2020 in Sofia.

Common Regional Market in the Western Balkans towards EU Single Market

The CRM is a transformative tool towards increasing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the region and bringing it closer to the EU markets.

The Common Regional Market Action plan is a result of intense consultations at national, regional and international level.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, enhanced market integration of Western Balkan economies will help tackle the mid- and long-term effects of the pandemic by attracting investments in productive sectors and sustainable infrastructure, and by generating new opportunities for citizens and business community.

The CRM is anchored in the EU’s recovery efforts and underpinned by the EU Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans. It will play a central role in creating a strong economic base to relaunch and modernise the economies of the region.

The agenda shall have a transformative effect by putting the region on the map for global investors, thereby creating jobs and offering greater choices at lower prices for its consumers, and enabling people to work throughout the region.

The implementation of the regional actions represent a steppingstone for WB6 firms to better integrate into the European value chains and strengthen their competitiveness in the European and global marketplace.

Four areas of the Common Regional Market

  • Regional trade area: 
    • free movement of goods, services, capital and people, including crosscutting measures, such as the Green Lanes, to align with EU-compliant rules and standards and provide opportunities for companies and citizens;
  • Regional investment area,
    • to align investment policies with the EU standards and best international practices and promote the region to foreign investors;
  • Regional digital area,
    • to integrate the Western Balkans into the pan-European digital market; and
  • Regional industrial and innovation area,
    • to transform the industrial sectors, shape value chains they belong to, and prepare them for the realities of today and challenges of tomorrow.

For more information see this infographic.

Regional industrial and innovation area

The key goal of the regional industrial and innovation area is to assist the creation of a conducive regional innovation ecosystem that helps industrial development.