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Including Western Balkans in the EU Value Chain Partnership aligned with Critical Raw Materials strategy

Nine years after the launching of Berlin Process in August 2014, the Heads of Government of Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, as well as the Heads of State or Government or representatives of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and the United Kingdom, Spain, Hungary, Romania and the Netherlands, the representatives of the European Union (EU), and of regional and international organizations and financial institutions met in person in Tirana on 16 October 2023 for the Summit Meeting of the Berlin Process.

The participants acknowledged that with the current geopolitical situation, a Value Chain Partnership between the EU and the Western Balkans should be explored. They acknowledged the strategic importance of the Western Balkans region in the context of Critical Raw Materials and batteries, and its role in the EU Value Chain and industries. With the increasing global demand for these materials, the Western Balkans hold a significant potential that must be harnessed effectively to contribute to the EU’s security of supply.

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Participants underlined that investments in research, innovation, and sustainable mining practices should be prioritized, with an aim to increase the region’s contribution to the EU’s Critical Raw Materials and industry value chain. Such an increase would not only enhance the EU’s security of supply but also promote economic growth and job creation in the Western Balkans.

The participants highlighted the importance of adopting a sustainable and inclusive approach in harnessing the potential of the Western Balkans in the common raw materials and EU Value Chain that takes into account environmental and social considerations.

The WB6 participants stated their interest to become part of the EU Value Chain Partners Club for Critical Raw Materials and get support for the development of relevant industries, aligned with the needs and standards of the EU Single Market.

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