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W. Balkan speakers seek EU assistance to curb COVID-19 pandemic

The parliament speakers of North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia called for assistance to be provided to the Western Balkan countries to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in a letter addressed to European Parliament President David Sassoli, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Skopje, 26 March 2020 (MIA) – The parliament speakers of North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia called for assistance to be provided to the Western Balkan countries to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in a letter addressed to European Parliament President David Sassoli, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The speakers call on the heads of the European Parliament and the European Commission, as well as the MEPs, asking for the Western Balkan countries to be exempted from the decision to restrict export of medical equipment from the European Union in order to become part of the Common European Response in the fight against COVID-19.

The speakers urge the EU representatives to consider the possibility of including the Western Balkan region in the EU + export license scheme, to enable the Western Balkans region, if it deems it necessary, to accede to the Joint Procurement Agreement for medical countermeasures and thus to participate in the joint public procurement of medical and protective equipment to combat the coronavirus pandemic, to consider allowing the Western Balkans region to divert unspent funds from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II) to combat the coronavirus pandemic, as well as to use all other funds available from the various EU funds available for this purpose.

North Macedonia’s Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi told MIA that the appeal had been forwarded to the European Parliament where MEPs could review it as soon as possible.

 

 

 

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