South East European heads of state give full support to the Regional Cooperation Council, approve appointment of its Secretary General
ISTANBUL/SARAJEVO – The Heads of State and Government of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) expressed today at the summit meeting in Istanbul their appreciation for the work of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) in transforming the current advanced regional cooperation to a new level, focusing on concrete and targeted projects aimed at regional recovery and economic development.
The region’s leaders approved the reappointment of Hido Biscevic as the RCC Secretary General for the period until 31 December 2012. They endorsed the 2009-2010 RCC Annual Report as well as the organization’s Strategy and Work Programme for 2011-2013.
In a joint declaration, the Heads of State and Government reiterated the importance of regional ownership and all-inclusiveness for a successful implementation of regional cooperation. They stressed the need to maintain close links between the SEECP and the RCC, as its operational arm, in these efforts.
Thanking the South East European leaders for the support expressed through the reappointment, RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic said that the countries of the region should join forces in addressing common development goals, especially in times of crisis.
“The current economic crisis and emerging new challenges must be seen as an impulse to a greater self-responsibility within our region. No one has the luxury of time. Stagnation, lethargy, prolonged strategic vacuum or frustrating status quo may be too costly and regrets may come too late,” warned Biscevic.
He underlined that a strengthened political determination throughout the region calls for a concrete follow-up measures and a fresh set of policies.
“By working closely with its members from South East Europe, the EU institutions and other international partners, the Regional Cooperation Council could offer an added value in translating this new climate of cooperation into a regional recovery and development approach, in particular in the priority areas of energy, infrastructure and transport, to complement the advancement towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration and respond to the economic and social needs of the region.”
Biscevic called upon the regional leaders to make the best possible use of the RCC as a platform to pool together a set of large-scale projects that will bring improvements in the key economic sectors in South East Europe, adding that the region, now linked with the EU enlargement process, “needs a great development leap forward”.
Address by RCC Secretary General, Hido Biscevic, at the Summit is available HERE.