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A new Western Balkans agenda

On 6 October 2021, at the EU-Western Balkans Brdo Summit, the EU and Western Balkans leaders launched a forward-looking Agenda on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, outlining a comprehensive, long-term strategy for cooperation with the region, that will contribute to its economic and societal development.

The focus of the actions of this Agenda is accomplished through three main axes, which set the framework for cooperation with the Western Balkans:

  • Political: The EU is committed to further intensify its engagement with the region, reconfirming its European perspective, and supporting the implementation of systemic transformations.
  • Thematic: The EU will support a closer realignment of the region with the EU strategic priorities, which are essential for the relaunch and modernisation of the Western Balkan economies.
  • Regional: Despite recent investments in new R&D&I infrastructures, there is overall an insufficient level of support for an innovation ecosystem development. A closer regional economic integration will be sought through planned investments in human capital development and digital transformation.

Western Balkans is one of the top priority regions for Erasmus+. Substantial funding (ca. EUR 370 million) is planned for capacity-building and other support actions involving organisations from this region in the 2022 Annual Work Programme, which is expected to be published in November.

More information

European Commission