Regional Cooperation Council Board holds its first meeting in 2012, in Sarajevo

Assessment of the first year of implementation of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013, and the report of the organization’s Secretary General on the activities of the Secretariat over the past three months, were in focus of today’s meeting of the RCC Board, held in Sarajevo.

“The main objective of the self-assessment, conducted by the RCC Secretariat, is to review the relevance, impact and sustainability of the activities of the organization carried out in 2011. I am pleased that after the first year of implementation of the three-year Strategy, the completion rate is close to 50%”, said Hido Biscevic, RCC Secretary General, while presenting the draft findings.

He added that the RCC has also started discussing its role beyond 2013, possibly entailing closer alignment with the recommendations of the European Commission’s Enlargement Package, while taking into account the inherent role of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), as the political umbrella of the RCC.

The RCC Secretary General reiterated the importance of an all-inclusive cooperation in South East Europe and, in that context, welcomed the agreement reached by Belgrade and Pristina on the participation of Kosovo in regional fora. Thus, Kosovo for the first time participated in the RCC Board meeting under the new arrangements.

“I also welcome Croatia’s ratification of the Accession Treaty with the EU and Serbia’s getting the EU candidate status, as an important achievement for the countries themselves and a positive stimulus for the rest of the region, which confirms its enlargement perspective.”

In his report on the activities of the organization’s Secretariat since November 2011, Secretary General Biscevic highlighted the transfer of the South East European Investment Committee from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to the RCC, which became effective at the end of 2011.

He shared information on the work planned for the next three months and on the coordination of activities between the SEECP Troika (Montenegro, Serbia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), the European Commission and the RCC Secretariat.

Secretary General Biscevic expressed hope that the countries of the region will assume a greater responsibility in providing political support in favour of large scale regional projects, such as rehabilitation of railway systems in South East Europe.

The RCC Board meets quarterly and is chaired by the RCC Secretary General. The Board provides the RCC with operational guidance and supervision. It consists of those RCC members contributing to the budget of the RCC Secretariat as well as the European Union.

The Regional Cooperation Council Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013 is available on the RCC website, along with the latest Report on Activities of the Regional Cooperation Council Secretariat.