“Mini Schengen” Initiative Rebranded as Open Balkan

PM Zoran Zaev, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Albanian PM Edi Rama took part on Thursday in the Skopje Economic Forum, where they revealed the new name of the “Mini Schengen” Imitative, which from now on will be known as Open Balkan. During the Forum, the heads of states also signed three cooperation contracts: Contract for Cooperation in protection and rescue from natural disasters, Memorandum for Understanding for free access to labour markets and a Memorandum for Understanding for simplification of export, import and transport of goods among the Western Balkans. “The massive response by companies and organisations to this forum is a clear sign that the Western Balkans enter into a new age of understanding, economic cooperation and connection which will significantly improve the potentials of the entire region. With this initiative, we provide numerous benefits and improve the lives of over 18 million people that live in this region, and every country from the Balkan region is welcome to join this initiative,” Zaev said. “We managed to leave our problems in the past, and to overcome administrative barriers. If this initiative is successful as we expect, from 1 January 2023 there will be no more borders between our three countries, and there will be free trade without any tops at border control points,” Vucic said. “What we are to do within the EU tomorrow, we start doing between ourselves today. This is a great initiative of strategic importance for Albania and the other two countries, and I hope more countries will join us soon,” Rama said.