RCC Secretary General meets EU Commissioner for Enlargement

10 December 2010

Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Hido Biscevic, met in Brussels yesterday with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fuele, to discuss regional cooperation in South East Europe.

The two officials welcomed the progress made in improving the political climate in the region and expressed expectations that the enlargement countries from Western Balkans would continue with reforms and fulfilment of the necessary requirements in order to keep the enlargement momentum.

Secretary General Biscevic thanked Commissioner Fuele for a continued support to the RCC and highlighted a need to maintain the current spirit of rapprochement, moderation and pragmatism in the region as a conducive environment for further strengthening of regional cooperation and stability. He informed the Commissioner of the initiative to have a meeting between the incoming Hungarian EU Presidency, the Montenegrin Chairmanship-in-Office of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) and the RCC at the beginning of the next year. He also shared views and observations on how to contribute to the facilitation of positive development related to some of the remaining issues in the region.

The two officials discussed specific support by the European Commission to the implementation of the RCC Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013, on issues such as regional strategies on justice and home affairs, and on research and development, creation of South East European association of public broadcasters, follow up to a meeting of region’s intelligence chiefs held two months ago in Belgrade, as well as cooperation among universities, etc.

Commissioner Fuele showed particular interest in the implementation of the RCC Strategy and expressed hope that the enlargement countries will continue with necessary reforms to maintain the enlargement momentum, in line with the recent Commission’s enlargement strategy and progress reports. He positively assessed the RCC Secretariat’s work so far as well as the adaptations in the Secretariat’s structure together with the budget reductions envisaged in 2011.

Secretary General Biscevic and Commissioner Fuele also agreed on further cooperation between the European Commission and the RCC in implementing related aspects of Europe 2020 in Western Balkans.

While in Brussels, Secretary General Biscevic also took part in the annual Friends of Europe summit ‘Beating the Balkans Blues’, where he spoke about stepping up the investment and competitiveness drive in the region.