The history of Europe is strongly and often dramatically interwoven with that of the Balkans. Presently, the nexus between Europe and the Balkans is acquiring new relevance due to sluggish growth and rising regional disparities across Europe, to diverging national interests exacerbated by the migrant crisis, and to the prospect of the Chinese “one belt, one road” initiative reaching South-East Europe. This report investigates the possibility of a Green Corridor linking Europe and the Balkans through a multimodal infrastructure for the transport of people, goods, energy and information. As a first step, the present background paper looks at the Western Balkans in this perspective. We show that this region is faced with enormous development challenges, including a population whose skills hardly match the needs and opportunities of the present world economy, a very low, sometimes even negative savings rate, weak and sometimes dysfunctional institutions, and more. We then show that infrastructure investments are badly needed in the Western Balkans, be it for transport of people and goods, of information and of electricity. Next, we survey the considerable toolbox that the EU has developed to intensify cooperation with this part of the Balkans. Against this background, two things become quite clear. First, the Green Corridor idea looks both necessary and feasible. And second, to really make a difference, this kind of infrastructure investment can and should target the greater Balkans, including not only the Western Balkans, but also Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. Along these lines, it can offer the Western Balkans a badly needed future of stability and prosperity.
https://globalclimateforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/GCF_Logo_line-1-300x73.png 0 0 Steffen Fuerst https://globalclimateforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/GCF_Logo_line-1-300x73.png Steffen Fuerst2016-03-22 13:36:562018-08-28 13:39:07A Green Corridor for Europe - Connecting the EU and the Balkans