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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.
The situation of media and the freedom of expression in Turkey was in the focus of a special conference hosted by the European Parliament and the European Commission on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day. The conference brought together journalists and civil society representatives from Turkey and from across the European Union. A series of discussion panels provided a platform for opinions and contributions from NGOs, journalists, independent media organisations and EU institutions on the challenges impacting freedom of expression and the media landscape in Turkey today.