Western Balkans Cooperation Initiative
Six non-EU countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia), located on the western part of the Balkan Peninsula are referred to as "Western Balkans". These countries are working on domestic reforms and regional cooperation toward the integration into the European Union.
"Western Balkans Cooperation Initiative"
The Western Balkans Cooperation Initiative (hereafter referred to as “the Initiative”) was launched by Prime Minister ABE Shinzo during his visit to Southeastern Europe in January 2018. Its aim is to support socio-economic reforms in the Western Balkan countries toward EU accession, as well as to facilitate cooperation in the region.
Japan promotes the Initiative by strengthening bilateral assistance to the Western Balkan countries through ODA as well as enhancing dialogue with these countries through efforts such as the establishment of new embassies in the region and the appointment of an Ambassador in charge of the Western Balkans affairs. Japan also facilitates the regional cooperation by sharing Japan’s knowledge and experience on the common issues in the region (e.g. disaster management, promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises, etc.).
For achieving the effective outcomes of the Initiative, Japan collaborates with EU countries, supporting the European integration of the Western Balkans.