19. October 2023.
After the successful realization of 2023 CORE Days conference, we are happy to share some insights from the event:
During the CORE Days conference, Niš, Paraćin, Stanari, and Srbac were honored with the prestigious BFC SEE certificate (Business Friendly Certification in Southeast Europe), joining a network of 44 local self-governments across the region that received certification in the latest cycle.
“The newly introduced fourth edition of the BFC standard, released this year, places particular emphasis on digitalization, sustainable and socially responsible development, environmental preservation, innovation fostering, and local-level EU integration. Over 60 cities from the entire region sought to attain this esteemed seal of quality in the new regional competition, focusing on the exchange and implementation of reform-oriented solutions crucial to the region’s progress toward EU integration,” highlighted Violeta Jovanović, Executive Director of NALED. She also emphasized the successful implementation of this program in the region since 2012.
The opening of the CORE Days international conference in Kotor unveiled an insight into significant growth in the regional economies over the past three years, outperforming EU’s 3% growth with a nearly 10% increase. The event also introduced the first-ever regional index evaluating conditions for sustainable economic development, covering Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, and Serbia, which together form a market of almost 20 million inhabitants and a total GDP of close to 200 billion euros. The report emphasizes that for the further acceleration of economic growth, it is crucial to enhance the business environment across the entire region.
In his address at the conference opening, President Jakov Milatović of Montenegro emphasized his commitment to fostering positive relations with neighboring countries.
The revitalization of relations and faster European integration among regional countries will play a pivotal role in the future development of the Western Balkans. Closer alignment with the European Union can be achieved through concerted efforts to enhance the rule of law and macroeconomic stability, and by strengthening trust in institutions while preserving the environment and advancing living standards. These collective improvements would create conditions for the younger generations to stay and live in their respective countries – one of the conclusions made at this year’s conference.
This year, participants engaged in robust discussions across a series of panels to define next steps in shaping the business environment. These encompassed the resolution of property-legal issues, amplifying the profile of scientific institutions and nurturing local innovations. Additionally, attention was directed towards refining the public procurement system, integrating social and green criteria, and embracing sustainable business practices in line with the EU-mandated ESG standard.
The Partnership for a Competitive Region, currently includes over 20 organizations spanning six economies, is steadfast in its pursuit of sharing experiences and implementing regional initiatives and reforms. Noteworthy past achievements include the implementation of electronic building permits, the online registration of seasonal workers, and the enhancement of inspection oversight.
For more information about the conference, please visit: https://coredays.org/