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The Green Agenda for the Western Balkans

A dead letter or a genuine opportunity?

By signing the Sofia Declaration on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans in October 2020, leaders from the region recognised the importance of the European Green Deal (EGD), which is the EU’s new growth strategy towards a modern, climate neutral, resource-efficient and competitive economy.

In order for this acknowledgement to materialise in practice, the leaders of the Western Balkans (WB) also agreed to incorporate elements of the EGD into all interrelated sectors and policies, based on the European Commission’s Guidelines, with the common goal of developing carbon-neutral and sustainable economies in the region. Given that it has been a year and a half since the Sofia Summit, it is warranted to break down the complex notion of the Green Agenda and analyse whether and to what extent it has the potential to truly induce changes in the Western Balkans. Therefore, the paper presents key issues identified in the five pillars of the Green Agenda, examines certain cross-cutting aspects of the green transition that could be essential for achieving a climate-neutral Western Balkans, and provides concrete measures and proposals for effective Green Agenda implementation.

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