Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Commissioner Várhelyi presents 2020 Enlargement package to MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 7 ottobre 2020

Bruxelles. The Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi presented the 2020 Enlargement package to the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) today, providing an overview of the state of play of fundamental reforms and guidance on these reform priorities in the candidate countries and potential candidates.For all the countries in the region the future lays in the EU, stressed Olivér Várhelyi presenting the package that was adopted shortly before by the College of the Commissioners. Commissioner Várhelyi also unveiled the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans that should stimulate the long-term recovery, boost economic growth and support reforms in the region in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Economic convergence with the EU will be biggest challenge in the region, and the COVID-19 crisis made this only clearer, he said. The EU is focusing now on the long-term recovery of the region, as there is an enormous gap in terms of the economic development between the Western Balkans and the EU. The region is well below the 50 % in terms of GDP development compared to the EU average, said Comissioner Várhelyi.Subject to the adoption of the 2021-2027 Multi-annual Financial Framework and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III), the Commission proposes to mobilise up to 9 billion euros of IPA III funding for the flagship projects of the Economic and Investment Plan. This should support economic convergence with the EU primarily through investments and support to competitiveness and inclusive growth, sustainable connectivity, and the twin green and digital transition, it was announced.Besides, the investment capacity of the region should be boosted additionally by the mobilisation of a new Western Balkans Guarantee facility, which could potentially raise investments of up to 20 billion euros, announced Commissioner Varhelyi.Investment plans will mainly focus on sustainable transport, clean energy, environment and climate, with air pollution being the key concern. Digital future and ultrafast broadband connections are also priorities, sad the Commissioner and special attention will be given to tackling brain drain, by improving labour market participation, especially of young people and women, disadvantaged groups and minorities, in particular Roma.

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