Leaders from the Western Balkans convened at the high-level conference in Tirana dedicated to the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans on Thursday. They adopted a joint statement, affirming their commitment to increased institutional cooperation through specific steps and initiatives aimed at enhancing the lives of the people in the region.

Macedonia was represented by Caretaker Prime Minister Talat Xhaferi at the conference, which brought together regional leaders, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, EU officials, and representatives from relevant international financial organizations.

The joint statement outlines the leaders’ dedication to engaging in a structured dialogue with the European Commission and EU member-states. This collaboration aims to implement the Growth Plan in a manner that brings individual benefits, fosters regional prosperity, and facilitates socio-economic alignment with the EU, as stated in a government press release.

The statement emphasizes that the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans provides a valuable opportunity to strengthen the region’s integration into the single market and EU mechanisms. It also aims to expedite reforms in strategic areas, including those related to the rule of law and fundamental rights.