It seems like there’s a significant push for reforms and alignment with the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans, as highlighted by Finance Minister Fatmir Besimi. The focus is on expediting these reforms to ensure that citizens and businesses can reap the benefits swiftly.

Besimi emphasizes the urgency and commitment from both the country and the European Commission to meet the obligations outlined in the Growth Plan. The plan is structured around four main pillars: integration with the EU’s single market, regional cooperation, fundamental reforms, and financial assistance.

There’s a tight timeline involved, with a deadline for the submission of reform concepts by December 6 for evaluation by the European Commission and subsequent review at the EU-Western Balkans Summit on December 13. The full reform agenda needs to be completed by the beginning of the second quarter of 2024, after which the implementation phase will commence.

Part of this initiative includes significant financial support, with the European Commission allocating up to EUR 6 billion for the Western Balkans over four years, including substantial funds earmarked for North Macedonia. This financial aid comprises grants and concessional loans aimed at fostering development and reforms within the region.

Besimi mentions that the Secretariat for European Affairs and the Ministry of Finance will oversee and monitor the implementation of these reforms within the country.

Overall, this represents a concerted effort to accelerate reforms, align with the EU’s objectives, and access financial support aimed at fostering development and progress within the Western Balkans region.