BELGRADE/SARAJEVO, October 26 (FENA) – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) has been awarded by the European Western Balkans for its unwavering commitment to the European future of the region, continued strengthening of regional cooperation and connecting the region by facilitating the Roam-Free-Western-Balkans, as well as principled promotion and work on furthering economic cooperation in the Western Balkans. RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu, received the award on behalf of this organization at a ceremony held at the margins of the Belgrade Security Forum, in Belgrade today.
“Thank you European Western Balkans for choosing to honor RCC with this award. I am delighted and thrilled because it is not every day that hard work and commitment are recognized in this way. We are indeed European Western Balkaners, a regional organization that takes pride in achieving more tangible results for our citizens. RCC works in the domain of policies – something that is usually not easily seen by the general public. But, all that we do is aimed at improving the lives of the citizens of the WB and bringing them a step closer to each other and to Europe. Therefore, we take much pride in having an important role in bringing the Roaming Free to the Western Balkans, while now we are working on lowering roaming costs between the EU and our region. And it is not the only item on our Agenda. There is mutual recognition of professional and academic qualifications throughout the region, free travel for the citizens within the WB with ID cards only, environment and climate change actions within our regional green agenda, continued digitalization, empowering women and youth to stop the brain-drain, etc. That is what we are good.better.regional at doing,” said Bregu at the award ceremony.
Every year, European Western Balkans (EWB) awards individuals and organizations for their contribution to the European integration of the region. The award was established in 2019, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the portal. The first recipient of the award was then Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov, while the 2020 recipient was a Member of the European Parliament Tanja Fajon.
Nemanja Todorović Štiplija, European Western Balkans Editor-in-Chief, said: “This is the first time that the annual EWB Award is going to an organization, namely the Regional Cooperation Council. We believe that the collective efforts RCC has put into the Europeanisation and economic integration of the region since its inception in 2008 have irreversibly shaped the Western Balkans for the better. One of the highlights of this year has been the introduction of the Roam-Free-Western-Balkans. Together with the initiatives, RCC has launched during the COVID-19 pandemic and its work on the Common Regional Market, these activities show how indispensable their role in the region has become. We hope that this award will represent a small contribution to their motivation to carry on with their important work”.
EWB is a regional web portal founded in 2014, and specializes in the European integration process of the WB. It also follows the topics related to a common European future of the WB, such as regional cooperation, political stability and the enactment of reforms in key areas.
Latter today Ms. Bregu will moderate BSF panel on “Supporting Western Balkans – Overcoming Obstacles to European integration” with the Head of the Western Balkans Division at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Christiane Hullman; Deputy Director at the Directorate for Continental Europe of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Sylvain Guiaugue; Secretary-General of the Standing Committee of National Defence and Foreign Affairs of Greece, Tasos Chatzivasileiou; and Senior Expert in the Western Balkans Division of the European External Action Service, Clive Rumbold, stated the RCC.