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Knowledge Sharing Is Our Goal

Luka Burilović, President Of The Croatian Chamber Of Commerce

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In aspiring EU member states, the transfer of knowledge is key to integration, creating substantial potential for regional cooperation between chambers of commerce

Implementing the principles of the European Green Deal in businesses in Western Balkan countries can represent a valuable step towards sustainable and environmentally responsible management.

Companies need to set clear sustainability goals (specific, measurable, and time-bound). These goals should align with the principles of the Green Deal, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting circular economy practices and increasing energy efficiency.

Alignment with the principles of the European Green Deal can facilitate access to the European Union market, which is one of the world’s largest and most important markets. This is important considering that European consumers increasingly prefer sustainable products.

The right strategy and approach to sustainability can help companies in transition countries to take advantage of opportunities and minimise threats. This includes careful planning, investing in employee training and development, and continuously monitoring and adjusting strategies.

Countries in transition often have access to international funds and programmes aimed at supporting sustainable projects. This includes EU funds and other forms of funding that support sustainability. This is an opportunity for companies to minimise the costs of adaptation, while it also allows them to transform their operations to meet the expectations of the European market.

Additionally, sustainable finance plays an important role in achieving climate and sustainability goals under the European Green Deal. This means that financial institutions take environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into considerations when making investment decisions.

Sustainability is an ongoing journey. It is important to be updated on evolving best practices and technologies, but also to participate in dialogue and advocacy efforts aimed at advancing green policies and regulations in their country.

In order to take advantage of the great business opportunities created by the sustainable development goals resulting from the Green Deal, the contribution of all businesses is extremely important.

Companies based in the Western Balkan countries should thoroughly familiarise themselves with European legislation and regulations related to sustainability, environmental protection and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Understanding these requirements is key to helping companies adapt.

When it comes to the transfer of knowledge between the Western Balkans and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in the field of European integration, one has to keep in mind that the European integration process is a complex and multifaceted endeavour that involves harmonising laws, regulations and policies with European Union standards. It requires not only political will, but also a deep understanding of EU mechanisms, legal frameworks and economic dynamics. For aspiring EU member states, transfers of knowledge play a crucial role in facilitating this integration process. This is precisely what creates enormous potential for cooperation between chambers of commerce across this region.

European integration relates to the process of forging closer economic, political and social cooperation among European countries. EU accession is a significant goal for Western Balkan countries. EU membership offers numerous benefits, such as increased economic opportunities, political stability and access to a larger common market. However, achieving EU standards and requirements is a formidable challenge, given the complexity of EU regulations and the need for legal, administrative and institutional reforms.

Choosing the correct sustainability strategy and method can enable businesses in transition countries to leverage opportunities and mitigate risks

Chambers of commerce are crucial actors in the business community in all countries of this region, connecting businesses, providing them with resources and representing their interests. They have a unique role to play in facilitating transfers of knowledge in the field of European integration.

Chambers of commerce primarily serve the business community. They are well-versed in the needs and challenges faced by businesses in complying with EU regulations, making them valuable sources of knowledge. At the same time, chambers offer different networking opportunities and organise various events, including seminars, workshops and trade missions, which provide networking opportunities for businesses and policymakers. These events can serve as a platform for knowledge exchange. Chambers have access to experts, consultants and legal advisors who specialise in EU law and regulation. This expertise can be shared with businesses and government agencies to support the European integration process.

Cooperation among chambers of commerce in the Western Balkans and Croatia and Slovenia has the potential to significantly assist in the transfer of knowledge in the field of European integration. By leveraging their business-centric focus, networking opportunities and advocacy roles, chambers can foster cross-border collaboration, share information and provide training and support. While challenges exist, the benefits of such cooperation are evident when it comes to facilitating the path towards EU membership and reaping the associated economic and political rewards.

The Croatian Chamber of Economy (CCE) played an important role in Croatia’s accession to the European Union (EU), offering invaluable insights into the transfer of knowledge in European integration. Over 40 CCE experts actively engaged in the negotiation process, contributing their extensive expertise and resources to ensure Croatia met the EU’s stringent requirements.

The CCE’s involvement yielded a wealth of experience, serving as a model for successful cooperation between chambers of commerce and governments. Our efforts encompassed informing, training and supporting Croatian businesses and authorities, facilitating alignment with EU laws, regulations and best practices. The CCE organised seminars, conferences and workshops, educating entrepreneurs and stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities of EU membership. Together with governmental bodies, the CCE identified key issues and challenges, contributing to the development of effective policies and strategies for EU compliance.

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