The South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) is the major central forum of Southeast Europe, aimed at cooperating for peace, stability, security as well as for the economic, political and social development of all the countries of our region. While considering regional cooperation and integration as a prerequisite for integration into Euro-Atlantic structures, SEECP represents a unique process established through the initiatives of regional countries, whose common voice has been united for the joint issues in the process of development and integration into the European family.
The beginnings of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) date back to June 1996, at the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of South-eastern Europe, held in Sofia, Bulgaria, aiming at promoting and strengthening good neighbourly relations and transforming the region into an area of peace, security and stability.
Albania is an active member of this regional organization aimed at strengthening political dialogue, good neighbourliness, cooperation in all areas of regional interest, increasing security etc. SEECP consists of 13 member countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Kosovo*.
Main goals of SEECP
SEECP primary objective is strengthening good neighbourly relations between regional countries, transforming the region into an area of peace, security, stability and cooperation, in the spirit of solidarity and in the best interest of citizens in the region.
Secondly, the establishment of a South East Europe, whose future is projected in peace, democracy, economic prosperity and integration into European and Euro- Atlantic structures, devoted to the continuation of democratic and economic reforms in the respective countries.
Thirdly, the responsibility of regional countries and their willingness to work closely with the international community in order to develop and implement joint strategies for regional stability, to respond to new security challenges and eliminate the root causes, like strengthening international solidarity, which includes the participation in conflict prevention, crisis management activities, support of peace operations undertaken by international community organizations, especially within the framework of the UN , NATO, OSCE and Euro - Atlantic institutions.
The increase of economic cooperation through bilateral and multilateral collaboration between the region and the rest of Europe, which is a crucial dimension for good neighbourly relations, security and stability.
The expansion of cooperation in the field of human dimension, democracy, justice and the fight against illegal activities.
Structure and operation of SEECP
The meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the SEECP member countries is held once a year and is chaired by the Head of State or Government who has the rotating presidency. The meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs is held at least once a year and is chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country that has the rotating presidency.
The meeting of the Committee of Political Directors, attended by Political Directors of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, is chaired by the political representative of the country that has the rotating presidency. Troika, which aims to continue with the SEECP activities, consists of representatives of the rotating Presidency, the last and the upcoming one.
The Secretariat is established under the chairmanship of the country that holds the rotating presidency. SEECP decision-making is done by consensus and every year, at the end of the SEECP meetings, the SEECP Political Declaration is produced. The duration of the SEECP Presidency is one year. The SEECP rotating Presidency will be held by Albania for a period of one year, from June 2014.
The need for strengthening the SEECP in order to maintain the development of its institutional memory, has led to the establishment of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), which is the operational arm of the SEECP.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of independence.
© Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2017 - All rights reserved