Trade relations EU-Western Balkans


© European Union

On the occasion of the EU-Western Balkans summit, taking place in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 17 May, Eurostat is publishing a selection of figures on trade between the EU and the Western Balkans. The Western Balkans comprise Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro and Serbia.

Information on other Western Balkans’ indicators is available in the "Themes in the spotlight" page on the Western Balkans on Eurostat’s website.

The EU is a key trading partner for the Western Balkans. In 2017, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia exported over 80% of its total exports of goods to the EU (€4.0 bn or 81%). It was followed by Albania (€1.6 bn or 77%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (€4.0 bn or 71%), Serbia (€9.7 bn or 68%), Montenegro (€0.1 bn or 35%) and Kosovo (€94 mn or 25%).  

The EU also made up the lion’s share of imports of goods in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (€4.3 bn or 63% of total imports of goods), Albania (€2.9 bn or 62%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (€5.7 bn or 61%) and Serbia (€10.3 bn or 59%), while almost half of the imports to Montenegro (€1.1 bn or 47%) and Kosovo (€1.3 bn or 43%) came from the EU. The source dataset is available here

In 2017, the EU trade in goods balance with the Western Balkans registered a surplus of €9 bn, up by 10% compared to 2016. Twenty-two EU Member States recorded a surplus, led by Hungary, Greece and Croatia with a surplus of +€1.1 bn each. In contrast, the largest deficit was observed in Sweden (-€66.4 mn). EU imports from the Western Balkans have doubled since 2007 from €9 bn to €20 bn in 2017. Exports also increased, from €18 bn in 2007 to €29 bn in 2017. 

Among the EU Member States, the largest exporters to the Western Balkans in 2017 were Germany (16% of the EU exports of goods to the Western Balkans) and Italy (14%). Together they accounted for over one third of all exports to this region. These two countries were followed by Slovenia (10%), Hungary (9%) and Croatia (8%). Germany (23% of the EU imports of goods from the Western Balkans) and Italy (18%) were also the largest destinations of imports from the Western Balkans. They were followed Slovenia (9%), Hungary and Croatia (7% each). 


Graph: EU trade in goods with the Western Balkans

 The source dataset is available here.


*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.