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Guido della Valle

Western Balkans’ Central Banks Conference on “Negative Euro Area Interest Rates and Spillovers on Western Balkan Central Bank Policies and Instruments” Western Balkans are an economic area of over 20 million people with six states – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia – which all aspire to membership in the European Union (EU) and enjoy “candidate” or “potential candidate” status in the EU accession process. The countries in the region have a history of conflicts evidenced by the term “Balkanization,” which

Mr. Bas B. Bakker and Mr. Christoph A Klingen

Since the onset of transition in the early 1990s, emerging Europe has seen impressive progress. In a span of less than 20 years, the region went from central planning to successful market economies ( Åslund, 2007 ). Institutions were modernized, often in the context of an EU accession process. Foreign direct investment poured in to benefit from highly skilled labor available at low cost. Great strides were made toward trade and financial integration with western Europe. This transition from a planned to a market economy boosted growth, and after an initial