WEDNESDAY 8 MAY

High Level Panel on Western Balkans with Participation of the Leaders of the Six WB Countries

Great Hall, Level 1, Parliamentary Assembly Building

In 2014 the EBRD President chaired a regional summit of Prime Ministers of the six Western Balkans countries in the Bank’s Headquarters. This was the first time all regional PMs had gathered together in such a format. This EBRD summit launched a new format of regional cooperation, known as the “Western Balkans Six at the level of Prime Ministers”.

Continuing regional integration, led by the EU, is indispensable for the region’s economic prospects and its stability. It is part and parcel of the EU Enlargement Policy. The current level of regional cooperation has been one of the greatest achievements of the Western Balkans. Numerous challenges remain, however, and these need to be addressed in order to unlock the full potential for growth and increase the attractiveness of the region to foreign investors. The Leaders of the WB6 will engage in a serious discussion on a variety of topics, such as: the ways to bridge the gap between the existing level of political commitment to regional integration and how it translates into concrete regional projects on the ground; approaches to address existing bottlenecks for major regional infrastructure projects; obstacles to regional trade; prospects for developing the Regional Economic Area and the “soft connectivity” agenda; as well as state of affairs in the region’s EU approximation and other geopolitical issues.

This region-focused discussion with the Leaders will be followed by more countryspecific presentations on investment prospects by respective Ministers from each of the WB6 countries. Both parts of this interactive highlevel panel will include Q&A and allow for an informal discussion between political leaders, policy-makers and business leaders, and provide the audience with a comprehensive understanding of the Western Balkans region.