Spasovski: "Open Balkans" works; it brought many benefits to Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia

Zastave Otvoreni Balkan

The Minister of Internal Affairs of North Macedonia, Oliver Spasovski, emphasized, commenting on the dilemma of whether the "Open Balkans" would survive after the tensions in Kosovo and the statements of the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in which he expressed certain reservations regarding the continuation of this project, that not only did the initiative work, but was being developed as a concept within the Berlin process, with the aim of enabling easier functioning and communication between the countries of the Western Balkans.

Spasovski pointed out that the participating countries in the initiative, Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania, had achieved numerous benefits from the "Open Balkans".

"In this entire process, we want to include all countries in the region. In this way, good neighborly relations will be strengthened. It is very important because of the series of signed agreements on movement, identity cards, undertaking activities on the recognition of diplomas in all countries, further enabling citizens to work in three countries without work visas... All this shortens the waiting time at border crossings, which strengthens mutual cooperation," Spasovski told for TV 24.

When asked whether we can expect a faster flow of citizens at the border crossing during the summer season, given that it is part of the initiative, the minister emphasized that the idea or ultimate goal that should be achieved through "Open Balkans" is that there is no stopping and that there is not a single policeman on the Serbian, Macedonian, or Albanian border.

He stated that he was working with Serbia on the "One Stop Shop" project, which would shorten the time of border controls.

As he reminds, the application of electronic toll collection has already come into force.

"We can already use our tags in Serbia, and the Serbian ones in North Macedonia. 'Open Balkans' is of great benefit to both participating countries and citizens. Now you don't have to certify diplomas, you can exchange workers in all three countries, you can use electronic tags from any country when you pass through the territory of one, another or a third country. All this creates a good basis for numerous benefits for citizens," concluded Spasovski.