The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented, global crisis, a severe public health emergency for citizens, societies and economies. Tens of thousands are infected and thousands have died in the EU alone. The number of infections in the Western Balkans is on the rise, the European Commission Spokesperson Ana Pisonero stated.
The European Commission and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) are closely monitoring the COVID-19 evolution in the Western Balkans. Our EU delegations are in close contact with the relevant authorities.
Close coordination and cooperation, at regional level and with the EU, are key in response to this emergency.
We are looking at how to associate the Western Balkans to the initiatives the EU is taking and how to best offer support in mitigating the socio-economic impact, including by looking at a possibility of redirecting the IPA funding and of flexibility with state aid rules.
In these difficult times, solidarity is needed. This is not the time for polemic or unfounded recriminations.
The European Union is the main donor, investor and trade partner of the Western Balkans region. Since 2014, every year the EU grants over € 1 billion in support to the people of the Western Balkans. The EU has always supported Serbia in difficult times. For example during and after the floods in 2014 with € 180 million, or during the migration crisis of 2015 with more than € 100 million