Minister Altmaier: "We want to foster the implementation of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans by appointing a special envoy“

© BMWi / Andreas Mertens

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier will be holding talks with his counterparts from the Western Balkan countries and further partners of the Berlin Process today. The talks will focus on the Green Agenda, the industrial strategy for the Western Balkans and the further development of a common regional market.

Federal Minister Altmaier said: "The Western Balkan countries are an integral part of Europe. Via the Berlin Process, we are supporting them as they make their way into the European Union. The link between industrial and environmental policies is becoming increasingly important. The Green Agenda for the Western Balkans is a guideline for structural change in the region towards a climate-neutral economy. We want to help the Western Balkan countries in their efforts to tackle this major challenge. To this end, I have proposed the appointment of a special envoy today."

Parallel to the conference, a business forum will take place with representatives of companies and associations which are active in the region. The items on the agenda include vocational training, digitisation, cooperation in the energy sector and the establishment of a common economic area.

The Berlin Process for the Western Balkans is a format of several EU Member States and the UK, the European Commission and the six Western Balkan countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, which was initiated by the German Federal Government in 2014. The Initiative aims to help the Western Balkan countries as they make their way into the European Union and to deepen cooperation in the region. There is a close economic link between the region and the EU Single Market. Around 70% of the Western Balkan countries‘ trade volume is accounted for by the European Union. The Green Agenda for the Western Balkans was adopted at the 2020 summit of the EU and the Western Balkan countries in Sofia. The reduction of coal-fired power generation is an important aspect. The share of coal in electricity generation in the Western Balkan countries currently amounts to an average of 70%.