Saturday, 23 October 2021 | News today: 0

Zaev and Vucic discuss implementation of ‘one stop shop’ project at border crossing (photo)

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met Sunday at the Tabanovce-Presevo border crossing to announce the implementation of a project on joint border management, i.e. so called One Stop Shop.

The project is expected to cut down customs controls by half. By pulling up at a joint customs post, waiting time for people, vehicles and goods will be reduced. The project is in its final stages and the institutions in the two countries are prepared to implement it.

The concept will be applied for the first time at this border crossing between Macedonia and Serbia, PM Zaev said thanking the World Bank for supporting the project through the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

“It is included in the joint economic agenda of the Western Balkans after being completed by the EU and verified by us, the premiers of Western Balkan countries at the Trieste summit. I’m glad that we are introducing Schengen mechanisms here, in fact bringing Europe here, in the Balkans,” noted Zaev.

This is yet another example of the strong friendship between Macedonia and Serbia, according to him. Zaev said he hoped the friendship in the future would be strengthened by the opening of new border crossings and by advancing cooperation.

President Vucic stated that the joint management would cut down time needed to cross, because all check-ups would be carried out in one place.

“This is especially important for the two countries and for businesses as well for tourists. It will further stimulate people to use this crossing, to pass across our two countries very quickly and very easy,” said Vucic.

He said that he had discussed with Zaev the establishment of a regional zone. Vucic said that he was confident that the first such zone would be opened at the crossing.

Serbia and Macedonia, the President said, are two friendly countries, two friendly nations fostering close relations.

The objective, according to Vucic, is Belgrade and Serbia to have the ‘best relations’. This is one of the examples that demonstrates cooperation, which has resulted in reducing costs both of the people and transporters, he said.

“With this project, the two countries become more competitive,” President Vucic concluded.

PM Zaev said that bilateral agreements should be signed by the customs administrations, interior ministries, phytosanitary offices, veterinary services before being adapted. It will be followed by their signing at a joint session of the government, which will officially inaugurate the project.

Waiting at borders results in loses of close to billion euros, according to data presented by Zaev and Vucic.

Asked when the two governments would hold a joint session, PM Zaev said that a session hadn’t been held due the busy agenda both in Macedonia and Serbia.

“We had serious negotiations with Greece, an agreement was reached. Now, we have just launched a campaign ahead of the referendum. At the same time, Serbia is committed to finding a solution to the issue with Kosovo. All is set for the session, I believe that at the next session we will discuss the project with all the protocol for signing the treaties and launching cooperation.

The joint session will be held by the end of the year, said Vucic.