Deputy member of the National Assembly’s standing delegation to the South East Europe Cooperation Process Parliamentary Assembly (SEECP PA) Djordje Milicevic took part in the online meeting of the SEECP PA Standing Committee on 8 December 2020. The meeting was dedicated to the priorities of the Turkish Presidency of the SEECP and the seat of the SEECP PA Secretariat.
At the meeting, the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Mustafa Sentop and the Chair of the Standing Committee Derya Bakbak presented the priorities of the Turkish Presidency of South East Europe Cooperation Process: healthcare cooperation after the COVID-19 pandemic, improving regional cooperation, migration management, improving the quality of education and human resources, construction of communication and transport routes. The Turkish Presidency emphasised the importance of efficiency in the work of the South East Europe Cooperation Process Parliamentary Assembly post COVID-19 pandemic and announced a meeting of the General Committee on Justice, Home Affairs and Security Cooperation in Ankara in March 2021, meeting of the Standing Committee in Ankara in May and a Plenary Session in June 2021.
In his address, the deputy member of the standing delegation Djordje Milicevic said he believed the presented priorities of the Turkish Presidency of the SEECP would contribute to the strategic goal - better communication and transport connections between South East Europe and the region and the rest of Europe. For years, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, has been actively participating in the activities of the South East Europe Cooperation Process, with the desire to contribute to economic cooperation and the achievement of peace and stability in the region of South East Europe. He stressed the importance of fostering digital and technological development to meet the economic challenges of the 21st century and become a more competitive player in the global marketplace.
Addressing the participants of the meeting, Djordje Milicevic reaffirmed the position of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia regarding the establishment of the SEECP PA Secretariat, presented by the National Assembly Speaker and the head of the standing delegation to the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly Ivica Dacic viz. that the decision must be made by consensus of all the participants in the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly on the basis of two existing candidacies: Sofia and Istanbul. The consensus is the basic principle that should remain the mode of decision-making, because dialogue and agreement on the most important regional issues is the essence of this type of parliamentary cooperation, Djordje Milicevic pointed out. "The third candidacy, especially that of Pristina, which is submitting its candidacy as the "Republic of Kosovo", further complicates the situation and slows down the process of reaching an agreement between Sofia and Istanbul. In this instance, as well as during its presidency of the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly, Pristina did not respect the principles under which it was accepted to participate in the South East Europe Cooperation Process, which concern the obligation not to display state symbols at meetings or documents, and that its participation shall be status neutral and without prejudice to status. We consider the behaviour of Pristina, which systematically violates the agreements reached, irresponsible and provocative, and that it does not contribute to peace, stability and cooperation in the region of South East Europe", concluded Djordje Milicevic.