At the summit, Western Balkan countries agreed to reduce the costs of roaming between them and the EU has pledged to develop a roadmap to reduce the costs of roaming between the EU and the Western Balkans. The roaming rate reductions will be introduced from 1 July this year. Western Balkan telecommunications ministers signed an agreement in Belgrade on Thursday to gradually reduce all roaming charges in the region. “The signing of the roaming agreement and the total disappearance of homelessness by 2021 mean that the region will be digitally integrated into Europe,” said Damjan Manchevski, Macedonian Minister of the Information and Administration Society. Initially, roaming charges across the region will be reduced by 27% from 1 July and are expected to be abolished from 1 July 2021. BELGRADE – A regional agreement was signed at the 2nd Digital Summit for the Western Balkans held in Belgrade at the 2nd Digital Summit for the Western Balkans, which will significantly reduce roaming charges in the Western Balkans from July 2019. The agreement was signed by representatives of the Western Balkans Six. Serbia`s Prime Minister Ana Brnabié said signing the roaming agreement “was not easy at a time when Pristina is violating regional agreements.” “This is the first step in reducing roaming prices, including in European Union countries,” Matié said a month ago. The regional agreement on homelessness is an important signal of tangible regional cooperation and integration, and I am pleased that the European Commission has been able to support this process through the expertise we have gained from our own experience in introducing European roaming as at home. I welcome the political commitment of the entire region to negotiate and implement this agreement in a timely manner. This agreement has an important objective in the interests of citizens and businesses in the Western Balkans.
From 1 July, citizens and businesses in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, northern Macedonia and Serbia will pay less, while using their mobile phones when travelling in the region. Consumers will significantly reduce roaming charges in the region, with calls becoming up to eight times cheaper and the average cost of data rising from 3 cents/MB to 0.20 euros/MB. The new regional roaming agreement is a first step towards introducing homelessness in the region, with further reductions in roaming charges from 1 January 2020.