"Sexual violence against women, girls, men and boys is a despicable crime, and even more so when it occurs in vulnerable situations of conflict, or as a tactic of war. It is a grave violation of human rights and international humanitarian law, and must be fought with the strongest commitment" the EU stressed on International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
In the Western Balkans, the prospect of EU membership is an important driver for economic reform essential to enhance trade and investments. The trade flow between the EU and the Western Balkans has over the past 10 years more than doubled, reaching almost 44 billion Euros in 2016. Trade is largely liberalised, and more and more European companies are including the Western Balkans in their value chains. This process of business integration has been a powerful engine for creating jobs in EU member states.