Overall security and political stability have greatly improved in South East Europe over the past decade. Seven countries are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and five participate in the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme. However, there is still a need to build administrative capacity – taking into account the limited resources – in order to deal with multilateral cooperation in this area, and continue with Security Sector Reform, disaster risk reduction and reforms in order to meet the criteria, where applicable, for European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
Concerning disaster risk reduction, the fact that South East Europe is highly vulnerable to natural, and, in some cases, manmade disasters with cross-border impact enhances the rationale for strengthening cooperation in order to prevent disasters and/or deal with the effects. As capabilities of RCC participants from South East Europe vary with regard to their capacity in terms of preparedness and prevention, it makes sense to cooperate in reducing the risk and effects of natural disasters. Cooperation in this field is also part of the European integration process.
Since its establishment, acting as the operational arm of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), the RCC Secretariat has focused on developing working relationships with all relevant regional initiatives (RIs) and task forces (TFs). Each of these RIs and TFs includes several SEECP countries as well as some countries outside of the SEECP area, depending on the format of the initiative, its relation to the RCC, and the intensity of established mutual operational links.
The RCC Secretariat plays a key role in monitoring and reporting on the multitude of regional activities in South East Europe. It seeks to be well-informed on ongoing and planned regional activities by participating, as appropriate, in meetings and events, maintaining contacts, exchanging information and, where relevant, setting up working arrangements with RIs and TFs, including international ones active in the region. The RCC initiates and supports regular consultations and brainstorming between RIs and TFs as a key mechanism of coordination.
The RCC is mandated to establish sustainable, integrated and transparent regionally-owned cooperation mechanisms among relevant governmental establishments for security cooperation; preserve and streamline effective RIs and TFs with proven capability to deliver tangible results in the security area; initiate new low-cost activities, with high impact on confidence building and transparency.
The RCC Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013 envisages organization of the following fora: South East European Defence Policy Directors Forum, Forum of South East European National Authorities on Information Security, South East European Military Intelligence Chiefs (SEEMIC) Forum, South East European Counter-Intelligence Chiefs Forum (SEECIC), etc. As the operational arm of the SEECP, the RCC assists in organizing and executing the biannual SEECP Defence Ministerial.
RCC and Regional Initiatives and Task Forces in South East Europe