Southeast European Cooperation Process

The South East European Co-operation Process (SEECP) was launched on Bulgaria's initiative in 1996. At the Bulgaria-chaired meeting in Sofia, the SEE countries laid the foundations for regional co-operation for the purposes of creating an atmosphere of trust, good neighbourly relations and stability.

A special characteristic of SEECP is that it is an original form of co-operation among the countries in the region launched on their own initiative, and not on the initiative of some other international organisations or countries. In that regard, the SEECP seeks to define itself as an authentic voice of SEE, complementary to the Stability Pact, SECI or the Stabilisation and Association Process.

The basic goals of regional co-operation within SEECP include the strengthening of security and political situation, intensification of economic relations and co-operation in human resources, democracy, justice, and battle against illegal activities. It is the intention of the SEECP to enable its members to approach the European and Euro-Atlantic structures through the strengthening of good neighbourly relations and transformation of the region into an area of peace and stability.

Membership

*Founding members:
**flag|Albania
**flag|Bosnia and Herzegovina
**flag|Bulgaria
**flag|Greece
**flag|Republic of Macedonia
**flag|Romania
**flag|Serbia (joined as Serbia and Montenegro)
**flag|Turkey
*Joined later:
**flag|Croatia (2005)
**flag|Moldova (2006, before that it had observer status)
**flag|Montenegro (2007)

Structure

The SEECP is a regional non-institutionalised process co-ordinated by the presiding country. The SEECP presidency lasts for one year and is rotated among the members. The presiding country presents the Process at international meetings and hosts the annual meeting of heads of state and government, foreign ministers meeting and a number of annual meetings of political directors. Depending on the situation, the presiding country can call extraordinary meetings.

In 2006 it was announced that during 2007 the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe should be succeeded by organization formed by the countries of the region themselves that would be supported and advised by the western states and organizations. Most probably this will be achieved by institutialising of the SEECP as the Regional Co-operation Council.

Chairmanship

Presiding country is changed each year:
* 1996-1997, Bulgaria
* 1997-1998, Greece
* 1998-1999, Turkey
* 1999-2000, Romania
* 2000-2001, Republic of Macedonia
* 2001-2002, Albania
* 2002-2003, Serbia and Montenegro (now Serbia)
* 2003-2004, Bosnia and Herzegovina
* April 2004 - May 2005, Romania [http://www.mae.ro/seecp/]
* May 2005 - May 2006, Greece [http://www.mfa.gr/seecp/]
* May 2006 - May 2007, Croatia [http://www.croatiasummit2006.com/Index.aspx?id=30]
* May 2007 - May 2008, Bulgaria

Meetings held

Meetings of heads of state and government:
* 2-4 November 1997, Crete
* 12-13 October 1998, Antalya
* 12 February 2000, Bucharest
* 25 October 2000, Skopje (extraordinary meeting)
* 23 February 2001, Skopje
* 28 March 2002, Tirana
* 9 April 2003, Belgrade
* 21 April 2004, Sarajevo
* 21 May 2008, Pomorie

Foreign ministers meetings:
* 6-7 July 1996, Sofia
* 5-6 June 1997, Thessaloniki
* 8-9 June 1998, Istanbul
* 19 March 1999, Bucharest
* 2 December 1999, Bucharest
* 14 July 2000, Ohrid
* 16 May 2001, Tirana
* 9 June 2003, Sarajevo
* 22 October 2004, Bucharest
* 01 March 2007, Zagreb

See also

* Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe (SP for SEE)
* Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)
* Central European Initiative (CEI)
* Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI)
* Black Sea Economic Co-operation (BSEC)


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