Common Regional Market Action Plan


At the Berlin Process Summit held in Sofia, Bulgaria on November 10, 2020, the leaders of the 6 (six) countries of the Western Balkans, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, approved the document for the creation of the Common Regional Market (CRM) and the 2021-2024 Action Plan. The Common Regional Market will serve as a catalyst for deeper regional economic integration and a step forward towards the European Single Market.


With the aim of accelerating regional economic integration and deepening economic cooperation with the EU, towards the Common Regional Market, under the direction of the CEFTA Secretariat, the Council of Regional Cooperation and the European Commission, as well as in cooperation with the six economies of the Western Balkan countries, the 2021-2024 Action Plan was drawn up.


The four main areas of the Action Plan are as follows:

  1. Regional trade area: free movement of goods, services, capital and people, while including cross-sectoral measures, such as Green Lanes, to align with the rules and
  2. Regional investment area, to harmonize investment policies with EU standards and international best practices and to promote the region for foreign investors;
  3. Regional digital area, to integrate the Western Balkans into the pan-digital market European;
  4. Regional industrial and innovative zone, to transform the industrial sectors, for form value chains and their preparation with today's reality and tomorrow's challenges.


In summary, the main objectives of the Action Plan for each area are presented below:


Regional trade area

- Introduction and implementation, in accordance with the EU acquis, of mutual recognition of: certificates and test results for industrial and agricultural products; Authorized Operators Economics (AEO); professional qualifications; and licenses in tourism, selected services financial and other key service sectors;

- Creation of the regional e-commerce market by adopting the main harmonized rules and internal market principles, facilitating cargo clearance and removing blocking based on geographic location (geo-blocking);

- Adaptation of Green Channels and making services available 24/7 in the network of expanded BCPs / CCPs and the introduction of Green Lanes in BCPs with the EU;

- Expansion and improvement of Risk Management in CEFTA and its systematic exchange electronic data (SEED) for all agencies involved in the movement of goods;

- Creation of a one-stop shop at selected crossing points and reduction of waiting time at PKK / PKK at 70% of the current waiting time;

- Introduction of common procedures for monitoring tariffs and other facilitating measures cargo delivery service;

- Approval of the package of liberalization of trade in services to enable the provision of services without the need to establish and obtain mandatory authorization, in compliance with Chapter 3 of the EU acquis;

- Adoption of new, more efficient rules for dispute resolution and resolution non-tariff barriers in CEFTA;

- Reducing the costs of regional payments and preparing to join the Payment Area of single with Euro (SEPA);

- Enabling movement for students, researchers and professors;

- Freedom of movement with an Identity card within the six countries of the Western Balkans;

- Removal of work permits for inter-company transfers and service providers contractual;

- Enabling the transfer of social rights.


Regional investment area

- Carrying out a regional investment promotion campaign through the cooperation of agencies for the promotion of investments in the region in order to preserve and promote investments;

- Development of criteria and procedures of the regional guide for "screening" mechanisms FDI from any economy, for a quick response to FDI concerns based on EU standards and policies and considering the peculiarities of each economy and the region's policy priorities;

- Creation of 100 investment leads campaigns in the most favorable regional value chains of stable for the WB6 region;

− Conclusion of International Investment Agreements (IIA) between the EU and each of six Western Balkan countries. Regional digital area

- Ensuring fixed broadband Internet access for at least 95% of households, as well as at least 90% of households with speeds of at least 30 MBbps in each economy;

- Establishing free roaming in the region and reducing roaming charges between the Balkans Western and EU;

- Creation of a coordinated process at the regional level for the harmonization of the spectrum of groups pioneering European 5G and implementing a coordinated approach to the delivery process 5G radio frequencies and 5G regional piloting;

− Developing digital skills strategies to support the attraction of digital skills and to support digital skills growth and empowerment;

- Adoption of a framework for mutual recognition of electronic signatures, as well as other forms of eIDs and trust services based on the EU acquis;

- Coordination of regional actions to ensure the protection of personal data and privacy in the Western Balkans.


Regional industrial and innovative zone

1) Innovation


- Integration of the region into the European Research Area;

- Support for the implementation of various measures arising from the Agenda for the Western Balkans on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, which the European Commission is planning to adopt during the first half of 2021;

− Creation of the innovation support scheme for regional and initial start-ups, by mixing public and private sector financing;

- Creation of a regional Network of Digital Innovation Centers;

− Updating the regional online platform of SMEs to support innovation and internationalization of SMEs.


2) Involvement in international supply and value chains


- Achieving Regional Supply Chain Protocols in selected industries / chains of value;

- Drafting and updating the supply chains of the automotive sector in the region to avoid production process interruptions;

- Development of new regional value chains in the green and recycling economy to utilize the still untapped potential;

- Developing the tourism package for the region and organizing joint efforts promotional;

- Supporting the development of the agri-food industry in the region in accordance with EU standards;

- Development of regional creative industries;

- Increasing competitiveness and energy efficiency in the metal processing industry.


3) Developing human capital and combating brain drain


− Creation of a Regional Initiative for the Transfer of Diaspora Knowledge to exploit the potential of the diaspora in the region and to encourage brain circulation;

- Creation of the Western Balkans Green Start-up Network to accelerate growth of the green economy;

− Creation of the Regional Network of STEM Women for the Next Decade to encourage the growth of participation of girls and women in STEM education and careers;

- Creation of the Network of Entrepreneurial Women of the Western Balkans to encourage women in pursuing a career as an entrepreneur.


Please click below for the Documents adopted at the Sofia Summit:


  1. Sofia Declaration on the green agenda for the Western Balkans Leaders'
  2. Common Regional Market - A catalyst for deeper regional economic integration and a stepping stone towards the EU Single Market.
  3. Western Balkans Leaders Declaration on Common Regional Market.


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