The European Commission (EC) revealed that 38 operators had agreed to voluntarily reduce costs for those traveling between EU member states and the Western Balkans region, with new fare caps in place from October and further reductions on the way.
Its update follows a declaration signed by several major players during a summit in December 2022 outlining an ambition to reduce charges. The original signatories included Orange, Deutsche Telekom and A1 Telekom Austria.
Starting October 1, caps of €18 per GB will be in place for customers of participating operators in the EU and Western Balkans. This amount will drop to €14 in 2026 and €9 from 2028. Caps apply to roaming users in either region.
Decreasing tariffs bring users in the Western Balkans closer to data roaming policies already available for EU citizens countries roaming in other Member States.
“This price cap encourages and simplifies commercial, cultural, tourist and other exchanges between the EU and the Western Balkans, thereby strengthening ties between neighboring regions,” the EC noted in a statement.
“Operators are currently working to create products priced below the agreed ceiling prices, which will be available for purchase to as many consumers as possible,” the statement added.
Territories classified as the Western Balkans in EU documents are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.
In 2019, nations signed an agreement committing to remove regional surcharges Between them.