Zagreb - First meeting of the Standing Committee of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Parliamentary Assembly, within the framework of Croatian Chairmanship-in-Office, was held in the Croatian Parliament on Saturday, 3rd December.
Representatives of Parliaments gathered in the South-East European Cooperation Process were addressed by the Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Mr. Gordan Jandroković who expressed confidence in the successful Croatian chairmanship in accordance with the motto: "Connection. Communication. Cooperation.".
Deputy Speaker Jandroković emphasized the importance of priorities of the Croatian Parliament introduced at the occasion of assuming the presidency of the Parliamentary Assembly such as stronger cooperation with the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the support to the SEECP participating countries for EU membership and Euro-Atlantic integrations. "We believe that it is necessary to continually encourage dialogue between our parliaments and mutually strive to continue building good-neighbourly relations, which are the foundation of stability and security in Southeast Europe,"Jandroković said, adding that the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly would thus allow for more direct and efficient exchange of experiences between EU and SEECP participating countries which aim to become part of the EU.
Meeting was attended by Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Mr. Goran Svilanović, who presented the previous work of the RCC and "SEE 2020 Strategy" which, in cooperation with the ministries of economy of the Southeast Europe, defines the objectives of economic growth by 2020. The strategy comprises 11 objectives and Svilanović stressed among them the GDP growth, increased employment rates, growth of trade within the South East Europe region and beyond, promotion of investments in education and increased number of highly educated young people.
During the meeting the participants discussed the technical issues of the permanent secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly and preparations for the future work of the Assembly’s committees. The meeting was chaired by the member of the Delegation of the Croatian Parliament to the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly, Ms. Majda Burić.
SEECP Parliamentary Assembly was founded at the inaugural session held in Romania in 2014 bringing together 13 participating countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Turkey.
The meeting in Zagreb was attended by parliamentarians from seven SEECP participating countries, while the parliaments of Montenegro, Macedonia and Bulgaria were represented at the level of national coordinators, and Turkey was represented by Charge d'Affaires ad interim in Zagreb. Parliaments of Moldova and Romania did not have representatives at the meeting of the Standing Committee.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.