Find out the latest on EU-related activities and events in the Western Balkans
Last week, the Regional Cooperation Council published the results of the annual Balkan Barometer 2023 Public Opinion Survey. To complete the picture of our region’s opinions about regional cooperation, EU integration, trust in the public institutions and media, their biggest concerns, employment, climate change, security, digital life, transport, rule of law, travel, etc, the opinion of the Western Balkan business community is now published and available at https://www.rcc.int/balkanbarometer/.
“When asked to grade factors that affect the growth of their business, Western Balkan business people placed macroeconomic instability at the top of the list, followed by the labour availability and brain drain plus the political or social instability. The support to EU membership has increased by 11% for businesses and now is at 71%, reaching an all-time high since the launch of Balkan Barometer in 2015. Nonetheless, support for regional cooperation among business people has risen from 69% last year, to 74% this year, since it is perceived as important for their business. Western Balkan businesses see the situation as slightly more favourable than in the previous year, as their satisfaction index rose by 5 points to 58” the RCC Secretary General, Majlinda Bregu said.
“The red alert is that 70% of businesses do not see climate change as a significant concern for their business environment. Yes, in the Balkans, this may still not sound like an emergency, and unlike an illness, it is not directly perceptible to our senses. But this is quite alarming. From pollution, rising insurance costs, agriculture, wine, energy, goods transport to the diminished availability of food and water, all are influenced by climate change. Almost all industries are threatened by the effects of climate change, either directly or indirectly. But there is some good news too. Half of regional businesses said they have experienced direct benefits from the Regional Roaming Agreement. These findings might not be to everyone’s liking. But whatever the Balkans is, it is never bland, but a colourful region,” concluded Bregu.
Photo credits: RCC
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