The European Commission is working with the Western Balkans on a forward-looking Agenda on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. The Agenda will outline a comprehensive, long-term strategy for cooperation with the region. Through increased investments in Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the Western Balkans Agenda and its proposed actions will contribute to the region’s economic and societal development and cooperation
Research and innovation is recognised as a positive political agenda and a path towards sustained economic growth and job creation. Macroeconomic stability and a market orientation remain important conditions. The ‘Western Balkans Regional R&D Strategy for Innovation’ Study (World Bank, 10/2013) claims that unleashing the Western Balkans’ innovative potential would generate important economic gains (e.g. investing 3% of GDP into research and innovation will generate a 6% increase of GDP and a 13% increase in exports).
The Agenda on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport and its Action Plan will build on three main pillars: Political, Thematic, and Regional.
Political pillar is focused on building a sustainable future by stimulating an economy that supports the recovery and helps to create jobs (through nurturing knowledge-based societies and evidence-informed policy making; supporting the association to all the Union programmes covering Research, Innovation, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport; supporting the implementation of systemic changes and reforms), whilst thematic one works on closer alignment with the EU strategic priorities.
Regional pillar is focused on closer regional economic integration through planned investments in human capital development and digital transformation, enhancing the quality of education and training; reducing the gender and digital divide; improving mobility and connectivity; and fostering cultural and regional cooperation.
More about it you can find here.