SEE countries agree to establish Regional Co-operation Council

Belgrade – Countries of South Eastern Europe have today agreed to take ownership of a new, more regionally-owned co-operation framework that will over the next year and a half assume the responsibilities of the Stability Pact.

By early 2008 a new framework for regional co-co-operation called the Regional Co-operation Council (RCC) will bring together representatives of South Eastern Europe, including UNMIK/Kosovo, with the representatives of the international community. This should ensure that the unique composition of the Stability Pact’s Regional Table, where all countries participate on equal footing, is maintained.

By spring 2007, the countries of the region meeting in the framework of the South East Europe Co-operation Process (SEECP) should agree to nominate a new Secretary General, who should be a strong political leader from the region. His role should be to head the Secretariat of the RCC and support the Chairmanship of the SEECP.

The transition from the Stability Pact to the RCC will be gradual in order to ensure that the legacy of the Stability Pact is properly safeguarded and maintain a close relationship to the European integration process. The new set-up should be fully functional in 2008.

More than 300 participants representing more than 80 countries and international organisation expressed their belief that regional co-operation and Euro-Atlantic integration of the region are two processes go hand/in-hand. They have stressed the importance of the RCC having a representation office in Brussels, thus keeping close contacts with the European institutions.

According to an agreed roadmap, the RCC Secretariat will be financed jointly by the countries of the region, the European Commission and the interested donor community.

While the SP currently works on 25 different areas via task forces and some secretariats located in the region, the RCC will focus on five priority areas: economic and social development; infrastructure; justice and home affairs; security co-operation; building human capital as well as parliamentary co-operation - an overarching supporting theme.

The participants of the Regional Table meeting also welcomed the successful organisation of the referendum in Montenegro and called upon all parties to fully respect the decision of the people of Montenegro. Moreover, they also acknowledged the considerable progress in integrating UNMIK/Kosovo into regional activities.

Conclusions of the Regional Table meeting (Belgrade, 30 May 2006)
Speech by the Special Co-ordinator at the Regional Table meeting (Belgrade, 30 May 2006)

For additional information, please contact Mr Dragan Barbutovski, Stability Pact’s Spokesperson (+32 498 982-984 or +381 64 316-1817 (only until 30 May) or press@stabilitypact.org).

Website: http://www.stabilitypact.org

inserted by Florian GRUBER on 2006-05-30 15:23:20

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