Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Fifth Meeting of South-East Europe Cooperation Process Parliamentary Dimension Working Group

On 2 and 3 April 2012, the National Assembly House played host to the Fifth Meeting of the South-East Europe Cooperation Process Parliamentary Dimension Working Group (SEECP PD). Since Serbia presides over the process in the period from June 2011 to June 2012, this, fifth Working Group meeting, was held in Belgrade.

Gordana Comic, Working Group member and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, chaired the meeting which gathered parliamentarians and national coordinators from Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia, the Head of the Secretariat of the Baltic States Parliamentary Assembly, as well as representatives of the Regional Secretariat for Parliamentary Cooperation in South-East Europe and Regional Cooperation Council.

The meeting again focused on discussing potential modalities for the institutionalisation of the parliamentary cooperation between the countries of South-East Europe based on a report listing the proposals made so far. The report contained two different approaches to the institutionalisation of the parliamentary dimension within the South-East Europe Cooperation Process, suggested by the Turkish and Bulgarian parliament, as well as a third one, a compromise approach prepared by the support service in charge of the activities of the Working Group (SEECP PD).

Citing earlier documents, particularly the Final Declaration adopted at the Conference of Parliament Speakers in Antalya, the Turkish representatives proposed that the process should become a regional parliamentary assembly, explaining that the creation of a parliamentary assembly would help promote parliamentary cooperation in the region.

On the other hand, the representatives of the Bulgarian Parliament urged for a looser type of parliamentary cooperation via regular conferences of parliament speakers, the work of standing committees, rapporteurs and a standing secretariat.

This will be the topic of the meeting of regional parliament speakers to be held in Belgrade in July.

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