A united Balkan may benefit economically, says EU Enlargement Commissioner Hahn

A united Balkan may benefit economically, says EU Enlargement Commissioner Hahn

Pristina, March 25, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

The European Commissioner for European Policies of Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, who has participated in the conference “Western Balkans 6”, declared that regional cooperation between the Balkan countries is necessary for the path toward the EU.

Hahn said that today’s meeting of this format illustrates the cooperation spirit and as such, it must bring efficient cooperation.

“If you’re determined for this cooperation to boost economic growth, then cooperation is like a computer software that needs a hardware”, Hahn said.

Hahn said that the region must connect to other parts of Europe, by stressing the need for more infrastructural projects.

“If there are no transport projects, this brings total isolation, therefore the network of member countries lifts barriers. The economic centers must be linked. This can become part of basic transport. The network makes sure that the process is credible and requires an implementation”, he said.

EU Commissioner Hahn said it’s important to have physical connections, but according to him, there must also be linguistic and cultural connections.

“People must move freely in Europe in order to strengthen cooperation for the sake of the citizens. The European Commission will back you in order for you to make this a reality between people”, he added.

During the conference, commissioner Hahn expressed the readiness of the EU to invest in road and railway infrastructure, which will bring countries of the region together and closer to the EU. He mentioned concrete projects and investments up to 180 million Euros.

Meanwhile, EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, who spoke through a video conference, mentioned the need of raising capacities in infrastructure in the region, while demanding from today’s conference to be finalized with concrete conclusions as far as infrastructural needs are concerned.

She added that this would enable free movement and economic development. Bulc has demanded more integrated border crossings in the region. /ibna/