About SEECP


Overview

The South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) is a flexible structure of regional cooperation. It was launched by the states of the region, as an expression of their solidarity.

Its distinctive feature is that SEECP is the only forum of regional cooperation in South-Eastern Europe, launched and managed by the states of the region.

Objectives

  1. consolidating stability, security and good neighborly relations;
  2. strengthening the multilateral economic cooperation of the region, with a special accent on the cross-border cooperation, modernization of the transport, communications and energy infrastructure, the promotion of trade and investments;
  3. promoting cooperation in humanitarian, social and cultural fields;
  4. cooperation in the field of justice, fighting organised crime and illicit trafficking of drugs and weapons, as well as fighting terrorism. 

Key Documents

The Charter on Good Neighbourly Relations, Stability, Security and Cooperation in Southeastern Europe -  The Bucharest Charter - is the document setting out how SEECP works. It was signed in Bucharest, 12 February 2000. The annex of the Charter, which includes procedural aspects, was modified in 2007 by introducing the references to the then-created Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), which constitutes the operational arm of SEECP.

Membership

The SEECP participating States are: Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Turkey (founding States), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2001), Croatia (2004), Republic of Moldova (2006), Montenegro (2007) and Slovenia (2010).

Main Bodies / Working Methods

The coordination of the SEECP activities is ensured by the Chairmanship-in-Office (CiO), held for one year alternatively by participating States. The function of the Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) is exercised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the respective participating State.

The main political forum and decision-making body of SEECP is its annual Summit. Additionally, during each Chairmanship, at least two meetings of Ministers of Foreign Affairs are held - a formal one and an informal one. Political directors of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs have also their regular meetings.

Ministerial meetings in different formats are very frequent. Aside from the meetings of the Foreign Ministers, sectoral meetings (justice, home affairs, economy, energy etc.) are held.

SEECP has also a parliamentary dimension of the SEECP, which brings together the Speakers of the Parliaments in the participating States.

Official meetings (Summits or ministerial) conclude with the adoption of joint declarations, which are prepared in advance at Political Directors’ level.

The troika is the mechanism that ensures continuity between SEECP chairmanships, and is composed of the outgoing, the incumbent and the incoming Chairmanship of the Process.

Decisions within SEECP are taken by consensus.

Accession to the SEECP

SEECP is open, by agreement of the participating States, to the usual forms of participation (participant State or observer) of the States that geographically belong to the region and declare their total adhesion to the principles of the Charter.

Short Historical Background

SEECP was founded in 1996, upon Bulgaria’s initiative, and aimed at establishing a new forum of regional cooperation after the emergence of new independent states on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

Recent Chairmanships of the SEECP: Romania (2004–2005), Greece (2005–2006), Croatia (2006–2007), Bulgaria (2007-2008), the Republic of Moldova (2008-2009), Turkey (2009-2010), Montenegro (2010-2011), Serbia (2011-2012), FYR Macedonia (2012-2013).

The Parliamentary Dimension

The first Conference of the Speakers of Parliaments from the South-Eastern European countries (Athens, 1997) set the objective of achieving a systematic parliamentary dialogue, by organizing regular meetings on a rotational basis among SEECP participating States.

The importance of parliamentary dialogue among SEECP countries is mentioned in the Charter on Good Neighbourly Relations, Stability, Security and Cooperation in Southeastern Europe, signed in Bucharest in 2000, as well as in the Skopje Declaration of 2001.

At the meeting of the Speakers of Parliaments from SEECP countries (Athens, March 2006), a joint Declaration providing for each SEECP Chairmanship to hold a Parliamentary Conference and expressing the interest for the institutionalization of parliamentary cooperation in SEECP was signed.

During their meeting in Ohrid, 26-28 May 2013, the Speakers of Parliaments from SEECP countries, decided that the inaugural session of the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly shall take place in 2014, in Bucharest.