Croatia after accession:regional cooperation beyondCEFTAPeter PolajnarEuropean CommissionDG Enlargement
Regional cooperationConcept developed by the Stabilisation and Association Process.• Political and economic rationalesWestern Balkans:Conditionality for accession– part of SAA contractualobligationsEU countries:Invited to take part, host initiatives, provide funds, apointexperts
EEconomicconomicrationalesrationales→ Fragmented markets. Need to findeconomies of scale and scope.→ Similar level of economic development,similar policy challenges.→ Investors perception. Investors demands(cross border infrastructure).→ Economic cooperation ground for politicalcooperation.→ Already existent high level of tradeintegration (20%)
Regional cooperation – Changesafter 1 July 2013• Rules will changes – strict application of EU standards at HR borderand within HR.• Treaties which concern EU competence need to change / lapse.– The underlying economic rationale will remain.• "Soft" initiatives can and should remain.
Regional cooperation – wayaheadStrong political commitment to continuous regional cooperation.But this can also change occasionally (Greece, Slovenia)???Region will be observing if political and economic reforms in Croatiapay off.EU partners expect constructive behaviour.Further development of EU strategies which encompass the WesternBalkans (Danube, Adriatic). Capacity to engage and organise non-EUneighbours. Funds available.
Regional cooperation – wayahead• Businesses fully comitted (HR FDI 80% to BiH and SR. TheEconomist: Yugosphere)• Regional competitive edge established in food industry. Butcommodities dominate trade and manufacturing not evolving.• Will business find other niches? Can the existing initiatives supportthem or should they develop new ones?• Beyond EU and CEFTA: Value chains going Turkey, Balkans, EU;Serbian FTA with Russia.
Regional cooperation –conclusionsIt used to be top down, now bottom up.Functionality more important than inclusiveness.More opportunities as more EU funds available, more room for SMEs.o Businesses and governments need to better define and artιculateideas. So far ….o Economic crisis significant negative factor.