HEALTH MINISTERS OF THE WESTERN BALKAN COUNTRIES COORDINATE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
CIG organized on August 6 an online discussion for a group of senior political party officials from the Western Balkan countries on coordination and harmonization their policies in the fight against COVID-19 (http://www.cigonline.net/creating-a-western-balkans-joint-regional-approach-in-fighting-covid-19/). To coordinate such efforts, the participants recommended setting up a regular consultative mechanism for the ministers of health of the Western Balkan countries. The participants acted on the recommendation and such the first meeting was organized on August 27, 2020 at the initiative of the Minister of Health of North Macedonia. The meeting included ministers and other senior health officials of the Western Balkan Six and Bulgaria and Greece. The participants exchanged information and experiences in combating COVID-19 in their countries, challenges facing the beginning of the school year, and discussed coordination in managing vaccination once a vaccine is in place. They also addressed economic aspects, agreeing to adopt a regional approach to border management to facilitate the movement of goods and people while applying anti-COVID measures. The participants agreed to prepare a draft document of a mutual protocol on borders. A working group formed for this purpose will prepare the draft to be discussed at the next meeting of the ministers to be held in mid-September.