A solidary open Balkan without economic barriers and borders. The initiative’s basic premise was once again underlined in Belgrade on Thursday. Skopje, Belgrade, and Tirana are firmly determined to advance regional cooperation through formation of a joint market and facilitated trade and movement. In the absence of PM Zoran Zaev, Deputy PM for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov was North Macedonia’s representative. Commenting on the need for the project and Bulgaria’s veto, he said Open Balkan wasn’t a “closed EU” for the region. Dimitrov sees no risk of North Macedonia leaving the initiative in the event of a change of the government. In a joint statement signed by Dimitrov, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, and Albanian PM Edi Rama, it is said, inter alia, that North Macedonia is a great example of the EU’s unfulfilled promises.