Regional Economic Cooperation: State of Play in the Western Balkans and Future Scenarios
Strengthening Public and Economic Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Albania, Forthcoming
19 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2016
Date Written: May 2, 2016
European integration process represented and still is a challenging and strategic objective for Western Balkan countries. The process has evolved gradually and these countries actually have a different status in the European integration process. Sharing the same final objectives towards European integration, this policy paper has a two-fold objective: (i) briefly explore the current level of cooperation between Western Balkan countries (Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and BiH) and assess whether there is any degree of cooperation aiming to achieve this strategic objective; and, (ii) explore and assess the degree of nominal convergence or compliance with Maastricht criteria, as set by the Treaty of Maastricht. EU membership is subject to the fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria1 as stated by the European Council in 1993.
Once formally member of the European Union, the Economic and Monetary Union and single currency introduction would follow. This second stage is subject to the Maastricht criteria fulfillment (convergence criteria): price stability, exchange rate stability, fiscal criteria and long-term interest rate criteria.
Keywords: Integration, convergence criteria, price stability, public debt, ERM II 4
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