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Programme Team meets with the European Economic and Social Committee

In a significant stride towards fostering regional cooperation and leveraging collective expertise, the UNOPS/Norway ''Knowledge for Reform Action in the Western Balkans'' (K4R) Programme team members Jochen Penker, Chief Technical Advisor, and Dimitris Mathioudakis, Senior Analyst, recently engaged in a productive meeting with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) President’s Cabinet member, Charles Manoury, the Head of External Relations (REX) Unit, Tzonka Iotzova, and policy officers from the REX Unit dealing with the Western Balkans. The discussions centered on exploring synergies between the two entities, aiming to amplify their efforts in driving positive change and reform in the Western Balkans.

UNOPS AUMCO Representatives and the EESC shared insights, strategies, and perspectives, emphasizing the importance of collaborative initiatives to address complex challenges that transcend borders. Key highlights from the meeting include:

Strategic cooperation: Both teams presented their regional actions underlining the importance of cooperation to maximize the impact of their respective initiatives. 

Cross-Sector Collaboration: Recognizing the interconnected nature of current challenges, the discussions explored avenues for collaboration by taking advantage of each other's specific knowledge and competences in various sectors. 

Knowledge Sharing: Knowledge exchange took precedence, with the commitment from both teams to facilitating the sharing of best practices and findings. This approach aims to accelerate the implementation of effective reforms in the Western Balkans.

Partnership Building: Both entities acknowledged the importance of building partnerships at various levels, especially with civil society organizations. The collaborative efforts will focus on empowering EU-level stakeholders to actively participate in reform initiatives in the region.

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Jan 10, 2024