European Commission supports work of RCC Secretariat with EUR 3.575 million grant

A 3,575,000 euro grant agreement supporting activities of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat in 2014 was signed today in Brussels between the European Commission (EC) and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).

The grant amount is significantly larger than the EC’s previous contributions to the work of the RCC, which amounted to approximately 800,000 euro per year, and is linked to increased support and expectations from the organization by the Commission.

The EC contribution will be used to implement the RCC Strategy and Work Programme in the part related to the South East Europe (SEE) 2020 strategy.

As 2014 will mark the beginning of SEE 2020 implementation, the RCC will focus its activities in four main areas of action: set up efficient mechanisms for coordination between governments, regional structures and the RCC, and facilitate establishment of intra-governmental coordination mechanisms on SEE 2020; establish a monitoring system to track progress on SEE 2020; support the establishment and help strengthen dimension coordinators; and provide direct interventions to implement SEE 2020 in areas where adequate structures or support programmes are missing.

The goal of the SEE 2020 strategy is to improve living conditions in the region and bring competitiveness and development back in focus, closely following the vision of the EU strategy Europe 2020. It stresses out the shared vision of the SEE economies to open up to 1 million new jobs by 2020, by enabling employment growth from 39% to 44%, increase of total regional trade turnover by more than double from 94 to 210 billion euro, the rise of the region’s GDP per capita from current 36% to 44% of the EU average, and the addition of 300,000 highly qualified people to the workforce.