Feb 3, 2023

We Are Supporting Western Balkans towards EU Integration

CEF Director Jana Repanšek attended the Diplomatic Corps Reception hosted by the Slovene Prime Minister Robert Golob and the President of the Republic, Nataša Pirc Musar. The annual reception was also a chance to meet the ambassadors from our constituency and wider, and touch upon focus areas for the capacity development of public officials, teams, and institutions in the Western Balkans.

Slovenia has pledged to continue with its efforts to support the accession of the Western Balkan countries to the European Union (EU). The advancement of the EU integration process is a complex process and requires next-generation leaders and policy-makers with top-notch knowledge and skills. We are proud to have launched a capacity development project funded by the EU “WeLead: EU Scheme for Young Professionals in the Western Balkans” (WeLead) to help the young generation in the Western Balkans to successfully take over and conclude the accession processes. Through different project activities, our objective will be to improve knowledge and experience of the EU accession process acquired by the next generation of public administrators and policy makers in the Western Balkans, and to enhance a stronger professional network between young public officials and administrations. 

In parallel, through focused learning activities, we also bring more visibility to the Economic Reform Programme (ERP) process and raise top-level discussions on the ERP. The ERP documents contain medium-term macroeconomic projections, budgetary plans for the next three years, and a structural reform agenda. We pay special attention to showcasing how line ministries and ministries of finance can grow continuously to better integrate structural reforms into their fiscal frameworks. Through a four-year multi-beneficiary capacity development project “Structural Reforms Better Integrated Within Fiscal Frameworks” (FISR2) funded by the EU we will focus on sustainable growth and improved competitiveness for achieving the economic criteria for EU accession.

The CEF is an important implementor of the Slovenian international development cooperation (SloveniaAid). Capacity development through CEF is in line with the requirements of the EU pre-accession process and the goals of the Brdo-Brijuni Process. The later was initiated by Slovenia and Croatia in 2010 and is aimed at advancing cooperation in the region of the Western Balkans. The CEF will continue to engage leaders of the Brdo-Brijuni process to align efforts for the benefit of our constituency, particularly the EU candidates.