Albania and North Macedonia will sign the Agreement of the Phytosanitary Certificates, in order to facilitate trade exchanges of agricultural products between the two countries, as part of the “mini-Schengen” agreement.

The Minister of Agriculture of Albania, Bledi Çuçi and the Minister of Agriculture of North Macedonia Trajan Dimkovski will sign the final version of the agreement, on which they have worked for about six months since their last meeting in Albania’s capital, VisaGuide.World reports.

“Almost everything is ready now. We have the final version of the agreement on the recognition of phytosanitary certificates for each country. I am happy that we finally finalized something we had discussed six months ago,” Minister Çuçi pointed out.

The recognition of the Phytosanitary Agreement between both countries will enable mutual recognition of the laboratory instruments and institutions, as well as the evaluators of the quality of the products with export-import destination between Albania and North Macedonia.

In addition to this agreement, the countries will work on two other agreements,  that of cooperation in the field of food of animal origin and veterinary medicine, as well as the agreement on conservation, monitoring and management of fishing in the Prespa Lake.

Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia have come up with the “Balkan’s Mini-Schengen” agreement in an effort to facilitate the movement of persons, goods, capital and services.

On October 11, 2019, was held the first mini-Schengen meeting, in Novi Sad, between the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Ministers of Albania and North Macedonia, Edi Rama, and Zoran Zaev.

The leaders of the three countries had signed an agreement that would enable the citizens of these three countries to cross each other’s borders with only an ID card by 2021.

The Balkan’s mini-Schengen idea was open to three other Western Balkan countries, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Kosovo.

But Kosovo’s former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, as well as the newly elected PM Albin Kurti, together with other Kosovar politicians have disinclined the idea of Balkan’s “mini Schengen”.

Besides Kosovo, Montenegro also has rejected the idea of “mini-Schengen”. The  Montenegrin Minister of Economy Dragica Sekulic called the idea “a waste of energy.” She had highlighted that Montenegrins were already capable of travelling to all neighbouring countries with only their IDs, except Croatia, which is an EU member.

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