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Meet the Southern Balkans

  • 4 small and rather young states
  • Population of above 8 ME jointly
  • Same distance away from Rome, Athens, Istanbul and Vienna and Budapest
  • Common history, issues and population patterns between them when compared to the northern Balkans
  • All 4 capitals within 200km radius
  • Seriously underinvested and neglected  region from Ottoman times to present

 

Serious challenges in this region

  • Serious lack of Infrastructure (roads, energy, hospitals)
  • History of war, mistrust and animosity
  • Environmental liabilities from Communism
  • Educational shortages
  • High emigration outflows especially by Youth
  • Lack of institutional capabilities, contentious politics
  • Lack of tradition of responsible governing culture, lack of respect of authorities as legitimized actors on behalf of common good
  • But: All have experiences major / unprecedented progress in last 5 years in all sectors.

 

AGREEI stands for

  • The creation of a group similar to:
    • Benelux (in Western Europe),
    • Visegrad (in Central Europe) and
    • Nordic Council (in Northern Europe)
  • Benchmarking success and fostering regional cooperation in all sectors : infrastructure, environment, economic cooperation, fight against organized crime, etc
  • Creating better living standards which would make EU accession more feasible and realistic