The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) was officially launched at the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Sofia, on 27 February 2008, as the successor of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe.
Through a regionally owned and led framework, the RCC focuses on promotion and enhancement of regional cooperation in South East Europe (SEE) and supports European and Euro-Atlantic integration of the aspiring countries. The RCC provides operational capacities to and works under the political guidance of the SEECP.
In line with its Statue and guided by the principles of all-inclusiveness, the main tasks of the RCC are to represent the region, assist the SEECP, monitor regional activities, exert leadership in regional cooperation, provide a regional perspective in donor assistance – notably the EU’s Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) programme – and support increased involvement of civil society in regional activities.
The RCC functions as a focal point for regional cooperation in SEE and its key role is to generate and coordinate developmental projects of a wider, regional character, to the benefit of each individual participant, and create an appropriate political climate susceptible to their implementation.
The work of the RCC focuses on the priority areas of economic and social development, energy and infrastructure, justice and home affairs, security cooperation, building human capital, and parliamentary cooperation as an overarching theme. The organization develops and maintains close working relationships with all relevant actors and stakeholders in these areas, such as governments, international organizations, international financial institutions, regional organizations, civil society and the private sector.
In addition, media development activities of RCC, overarching by nature, seek to foster development of free and professional media in SEE, given their role in shaping democratic, pluralistic and inclusive societies in the region.
The RCC also develops close relationships with and receives substantive input from relevant regional task forces and initiatives active in specific thematic areas of regional cooperation.
The Statute of the RCC forms the basis for its operations. According to it, the RCC Board provides operational guidance and supervision to the organization. It comprises of those RCC participants contributing to the budget of the RCC Secretariat as well as the EU, represented by a representative of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and a representative of the European Commission.
The main operational document guiding the RCC work is the Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013, endorsed by the SEECP Summit held in June 2010 in Istanbul.
The annual budget of the RCC Secretariat is slightly under 3 million euro, 40% being the contribution by the region of South East Europe, 30% by the European Commission and the remaining 30% by other RCC participants.
The RCC is supported by the Secretary General, a Secretariat based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a Liaison Office in Brussels.
The Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council is Goran Svilanovic.