Open Balkans initiative has decided to invite Italy, Greece and Hungary to join next Summit

The Open Balkans has nothing to do with the Yugoslavia of which he has been accused of, Prime Minister Edi Rama stated at the joint press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and PM of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev held in Tirana as part of the Open Balkan on December 21, announcing that the participating states in the Open Balkans initiative have decided to invite Italy, Greece and Hungary to join this Summit in the next six months.

"There is a tendency from those people who do not want this initiative to succeed, or to pursue it. When they say that this is to go back to the past or recreate Yugoslavia. I want to say it in Albanian. The Open Balkans has nothing to do with Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, at the next summit, we need to address tariff barriers," he said.In addition Rama said that they want to have Italy, Greece and Hungary in the next summit because they have realized that it is not enough for the regional people to have completely free trade; they need to have even fewer barriers when they arrive in the EU. "So we will contact the EU countries and make the process together within the Open Balkans in the European common market. That's the way the Open Balkans helps."

Further on he said that who would believe him if it was not shown by deeds that they could be at the level of EU ambition.

In the meantime Zaev said that the project has tremendous benefits for the citizens. He called on countries that are not part of this project to unite, as according to him, this Summit is an important step towards Europeanization.

"Today is my last day in office. At the beginning of the initiative we highlighted the fact that the Open Balkans is a joint process that has started from Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia. All remaining countries in the region have an invitation. We call for the initiative to be an initiative that benefits well through a common market," Zaev said.

He informed that they are presenting concrete steps and have signed agreements on conditions of free access and have given citizens the opportunity to access through electronic identification. Whenever these agreements are ratified, citizens will be able to move freely.

"When Vucic, Rama and I sketched the Open Balkans, we agreed not to allow skepticism. The Open Balkans is a contribution that brings us closer to the EU. When the EU fails, we have a duty to take initiatives that Europeanize the region," he said.

"We are for communication bridges, not who burns more flags," Vucic said in the press conference. He said that Serbia's position on this issue is already known, adding that Kosovo is free to participate in the 'Open Balkans' initiative.

Among other things, he said that he would like to gain some points as a nationalist in Serbia, since three months later the elections are, but he decided to keep a neutral language. According to him, the establishment of communication bridges is important.

"We are to build communication bridges. Millions of areas of collaboration lie ahead of us. Millions of areas, but responsibility must be shown. Do not become or patronize daily politics. We must make sure we keep the peace. This is a peace project," said Vucic. /