Supporting economic development with legal reforms

Project description

Title: Legal Reform for Economic Development in the Western Balkans
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: EU accession countries in South-East Europe – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia​​​​​​​
Lead executing agency: Regional Cooperation Council (RCC)​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2022 to 2024

Context

In order for the countries of South-East Europe to join the European Union (EU) and gain membership to international organisations, they must harmonise their existing legal systems with EU law. The project is supporting these countries with the EU convergence process in terms of civil and commercial law, and the modernisation of the way in which justice is administered.

Rule of law is also essential for long-term economic growth in these countries. The Western Balkan countries therefore wish to develop a regional economic area. To this end, they must put the appropriate legal frameworks in place.

Objective

The Western Balkan countries receive support in implementing EU-relevant legal frameworks to promote economic development.

Approach

All the countries of implementation are facing similar challenges, which can be solved more successfully by working together. Regional dialogue thus makes a key contribution to the convergence process with the European Union. For this reason, the project supports the countries of implementation in harmonising their legal and judicial systems with the rights and obligations that are binding for EU member states. The primary aim is long-term economic development.

The project provides concrete support for women by strengthening their legal position in commerce. It creates legal assistance options, supports the collection of gender-aggregated land register statistics, and helps notaries and registry authorities to implement the reforms.

In addition, the project strengthens dispute prevention and management in relation to investment disputes. As part of these measures, it paves the way for relevant structural reforms and communication improvements in the context of investor-state dispute settlement.

The project is also involved in cross-border cooperation in civil and economic matters: it seeks to enhance judicial cooperation in legal affairs between the Western Balkan countries.

Last update: February 2022