Newsletter 14/2011 - Activities in brief
South East European Heads of State and Government praise work of Regional Cooperation Council and endorse the organization's Annual Report
The Heads of State and Government of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) praised in Sveti Stefan, Montenegro, on 30 June 2011, the implementation of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013 and endorsed the Annual Report of its Secretary General.
“We paid particular attention to the results achieved by the RCC in the implementation of the Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013 from the last Summit, particularly in preparing the Regional Strategic Document 2011-2013 and the Action Plan in the area of Justice and Home Affairs adopted recently, preparing for the transfer of the Investment Committee for SEE from the OECD to the RCC, completing the transfer of the ‘Ljubljana Process’ from the Council of Europe to the RCC and the establishment of its Task Force for Culture and Society, the establishment of the Regional School for Public Administration (RESPA) and other successful results by the RCC as appraised also by the RCC Annual Meeting”, reads the Declaration adopted by the region’s leaders.
The Heads of State and Government reaffirmed their determination to forge strategic partnership for development and prosperity in South East Europe through elaborated regional recovery and development master projects and called upon the donor community to continue with the assistance and support to the region in light of the priorities related to the implementation of the RCC Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013.
“We highlighted the need to work through the SEECP and with the RCC to elaborate further on concrete projects and initiatives with trans-regional potentials.”
The meeting of the South East European Heads of State and Government followed the meetings of SEECP Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the third RCC Annual Meeting that also took place in Budva, Montenegro.
The SEECP foreign ministers extended full support to the implementation of the RCC Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013 and committed to continued participation of their countries’ in a wide range of RCC projects, in the fields of economic and social development, infrastructure, energy, security, justice and home affairs, culture and building of human capital.
While addressing the meeting participants the RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic said that functional regional cooperation as a charger of the accelerated economic development seemed as a call of the day for all national economies.
"It is about the political integration with the EU, but it is also about the economic and infrastructural integration. They should go hand in hand. And they would certainly contribute to social modernization."
The third Annual Meeting of the Regional Cooperation Council was co-organized by the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Chairmanship-in-Office of Montenegro and the RCC Secretariat, and co-chaired by Montenegrin Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Milan Rocen and the RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic. It gathered senior officials of the 40 members of the organization.
The Secretary General Biscevic presented the RCC's Annual Report on regional cooperation in South East Europe 2010-2011 that in details enlists the results of the RCC Secretariat’s work in implementing its Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013.
"A new climate in the region translated into a comprehensive, sustained and broad process of all-inclusive cooperation of all relevant participants, from political leadership, parliaments to media and civil society, from business communities to international friends and partners has prevailed", said Biscevic while assessing the environment for future cooperation in the region.
The Annual Report of the Secretary General of the RCC on regional co-operation in South East Europe in 2010-2011 is available HERE.
Regional Cooperation Council’s Task Force on Culture and Society established in Cetinje, Montenegro
The constitutive meeting of the Regional Cooperation Council's (RCC) Task Force on Culture and Society was held in Cetinje, Montenegro, on 23 June 2011. The event marked establishment of the RCC Task Force, the opening of its Secretariat and appointment of its Chair and Co-Chair.
“The Regional Cooperation Council Task Force on Culture and Society will promote cooperation in preserving the cultural heritage of South East Europe”, said Hido Biscevic, RCC Secretary General, at the constitutive meeting of the Task Force.
“The project will significantly contribute to vital social and economic promotion of heritage, bringing benefits to the communities and encouraging tourism at sites of great historical and symbolic value”
Biscevic explained that the Task Force was a response to the needs of the region, in line with the RCC Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013 to bring South East Europe together around concrete projects.
"After all, cultural diversity and variety of different national identities should be turned into a richness of our region and our contribution to the diversity of Europe.”
Branislav Micunovic, Minister of Culture of Montenegro, underlined that the nomination of Cetinje as the seat of the Task Force Secretariat is a part of the Montenegrin Government’s efforts to boost the international profile of this old capital of the country.
“The constitution of the RCC Task Force is a proof of a continued successful cooperation in preservation of the region’s cultural heritage. I am convinced it will inspire innovative solutions in the future and strengthen firm cultural ties among the countries of South East Europe.”
The aim of the RCC Task Force on Culture and Society is to promote regional cooperation in culture by creating a platform for dialogue of relevant stakeholders as well as to maximize the benefits of investment in culture through its contribution to sustainable economic and social development.
Members of the Task Force are high-level officials from governmental institutions of RCC members from South East Europe, as well as representatives of the RCC Secretariat, the Council of Europe and the European Commission. The Task Force Secretariat is located in the premises of the Montenegrin Ministry of Culture, and headed by Borislav Surdic. The first Chair of the Task Force is the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Co-Chair is Slovenia.
RCC Secretariat briefs diplomatic community in Sarajevo on its achievements, implementation of strategy and results of 3rd Annual Meeting
The Secretariat of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) presented the results of implementation of the organization’s Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013 to the diplomatic community in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 5 July 2011.
The briefing was held by the RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic and the Deputy RCC Secretary General/Head of Expert Pool Jelica Minic. It was attended by twenty representatives of the diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The purpose of the event was to inform on the main developments in regional cooperation in South East Europe and to present the results in the implementation of the RCC Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013, as well as to give a general overview of the third RCC Annual Meeting and the SEECP meetings held in Montenegro, from 28 to 30 June 2011.
RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic recalled a series of praises the organization received by RCC members during the meetings in Montenegro as well as endorsement of his Annual Report on regional cooperation in South East Europe 2010-2011 by the SEECP heads of state or government and ministers of foreign affairs.
“The regional cooperation in South East Europe is on an evident rise, with the RCC being recognized as a leading platform guiding the cooperation”, said Biscevic.
“The time is now ripe to translate positive trends into irreversible processes and include a wide range of stakeholders – governments, businesses, parliamentarians, civil society, think tanks, etc. – into design and implementation of concrete regional projects of a large-scale, transnational nature, especially in the field of transport infrastructure.”Deputy RCC Secretary General, Jelica Minic, presented concrete achievements of the RCC in the areas of economic and social development, energy, infrastructure, justice and home affairs, security cooperation, building human capital and media development. She gave an overview of RCC efforts in streamlining regional initiatives and task forces to make regional activities more focused and efficient.