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EU Approves €6 Billion Growth Plan for Western Balkans

The European Parliament has greenlit a transformative €6 billion financial package to bolster the economies of the Western Balkans, setting the stage for accelerated EU integration

The European Parliament has passed a significant financial package aimed at boosting the economies of the Western Balkans, with a decisive vote of 517 in favor, 56 against, and 30 abstentions. The approved legislation introduces the Mechanism for Reform and Growth, a tool designed to propel economic enhancement and structural reforms across the region, as part of the broader Western Balkans Growth Plan.

Under the framework set for 2024-2027, the EU will allocate €6 billion to the Western Balkans, split between €2 billion in non-repayable grants and €4 billion in low-interest loans. This financial injection is anticipated to potentially double the region’s economies over the next decade. At least €800 million is specifically earmarked for North Macedonia, reflecting a focused effort to support individual state needs within the bloc.

The funding, which complements the existing Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA 3), is contingent upon the Western Balkan countries implementing comprehensive socio-economic and institutional reforms. These reforms are designed to align with EU standards and facilitate smoother integration into the Union. The initiative not only aims to accelerate EU accession preparations but also to integrate the Balkan economies more closely with the European single market.

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