The key takeaways adopted at the Sofia Summit reflect the many lessons learned from three decades of reforms and a raising awareness that the common SEE6 challenges could be best addressed together. They also strive to address a double evolution – in the SEE6 and in EU – in the recent years which would redesign the EU accession. While building on the need to act upon the long-standing challenges, they also take into account the new priorities and can be streamlined as a reaction to the following challenges that each of the SEE6 countries face.
The commitments undertaken by SEE6 political leaders in Sofia have the potential to significantly contribute to address these challenges. They are framed in an all-encompassing approach with strong links and conditionality between them. The adoption of inter-related policies, endowed with important financial resources and conditioned by a close cooperation framework, creates the basis
for a relevant, resilient and sustainable development for SEE6 countries and for their economic convergence with the EU.
The Sofia Summit connects in a virtuous triangle the development of the SEE6 region (by investment connectivity infrastructure and encouragement of local production), the support for SEE6 institutional governance (by conditioning aid-disbursement on the Fundamentals) and the development of local human capital. To enter a virtuous spiral, those three poles of development should be connected through proper policy-making at EU, regional and at national level.
This Policy Paper was prepared in the framework of the Seminar “Takeaways from Sofia Summit on Growth, Sustainability and Resilience in SEE6”, supported by Hanns Seidel Stiftung.