Western Balkans and Turkey: Joint conclusions of the economic and financial dialogue of 17 May 2019 - Parlementaire monitor

Parlementaire monitor
Dinsdag 11 augustus 2020

Western Balkans and Turkey: Joint conclusions of the economic and financial dialogue of 17 May 2019

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad) i, gepubliceerd op vrijdag 17 mei 2019.

Representatives of the EU Member States, the Western Balkans and Turkey, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, as well as representatives of the central banks of the Western Balkans and Turkey[1] met for their annual economic policy dialogue[2]. The submitted 2019-2021 Economic Reform Programmes (ERPs) of the Western Balkans and Turkey outline the medium-term macroeconomic and fiscal framework as well as structural reforms to enhance competitiveness and long-term growth. Participants regretted that Turkey's ERP had been submitted with some delay.

Participants took note of the Council Conclusions of 26 June 2018 on enlargement and the stabilisation and association process and the European Council’s endorsement of said Conclusions. The dialogue on economic governance with the Western Balkans and Turkey is meant to prepare them for their future participation in the EU’s economic policy coordination procedures. The dialogue reflects to some extent the European Semester process at EU level. Ownership is key to achieve the results envisioned in the ERPs and the jointly agreed policy guidance.

Participants recalled the commitment to set out a new set of targeted policy guidance to support efforts towards fulfilling the Copenhagen economic criteria. In this context, Participants agreed that the elements of the 2018 policy guidance which had not yet been fully implemented remained valid and needed to be addressed by policymakers in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

Overall, Participants underlined their commitment to this surveillance process, which should ensure a continued anchoring of medium-term economic programmes and commitment to structural reforms by the Western Balkans and Turkey. Participants encouraged the Western Balkans and Turkey to continue to improve their macroeconomic, budgetary and structural policies. Participants also noted the links between such progress and the rule of law, the improvement in economic governance and the judiciary system. Participants agreed on the critical importance of foreign direct investments not undermining socio-economic and financial sustainability. Particular attention should be paid to the risk of excessive indebtedness and in particular in the Western Balkans to the transfer of control over strategic assets and resources. The authorities must ensure the full transparency of all investments, in particular those involving public procurement procedures. The dialogue will continue in 2020, including on the implementation of these conclusions.

[1] - Montenegro, Serbia, the Republic of North Macedonia, Albania and Turkey are candidate countries for EU accession.

[2] - The conclusions of this dialogue are without prejudice to EU Member States´ positions on the status of Kosovo.

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