10 June 2017 The Participants of the SEECP PA Plenary Session in Zagreb
Monday, 12 June 2017
SEECP PA’s Resounding Support of EU Enlargement and Commitment to Region’s European Perspectives and Future
Under the auspices of the Croatian chairmanship of the South East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP), Zagreb hosted the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly Plenary Session, 8-10 June 2017.
Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic chaired the forth plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly, attended by representatives of the 13 parliaments in the region. In his keynote address Jandrokovic underlined that stabilizing security in South East Europe, economic development and European integration were common denominators of the cooperation within the framework of the SEECP from the very beginning of the Process. He said that the connection between the SEECP countries is deeply rooted in their history, tradition, geography, culture, transport infrastructure, and especially in the economy, adding that he believed the development of the economy and economic stability are something all the countries want but cannot achieve without connections with the neighbours and without the political decision to provide a better future for the citizens.
The parliamentary speakers and deputy speakers from the region discussed security in Europe, terrorism, illegal migration and organized crime, which all require serious efforts and exchange of information. They reiterated the region’s strong support to the enlargement of the European Union and genuine commitment to the European perspective and future of the South East European countries. Deputy Speaker Comic appealed to the SEECP participants to take a clear stance on the enlargement and keep bringing up the importance of integration of the Western Balkans within the European Union. She said that Serbia is a credible partner not just as regards legislative harmonization, but also when it comes to taking on the security risks and challenges Europe faces, which it has shown by its reception of the refugees and migrants and participation in common EU actions and civil and military missions. Comic said that Serbia is firmly committed to regional cooperation, constructive dialogue and addressing European crises, stressing the importance of concerted efforts and common actions within the regional initiative. The parliamentary speakers and deputy speakers from the region concluded that the South East Europe Cooperation Process has proven itself as an important forum where the countries can exchange views and pursue common interests and cooperation, as evident by the initiative’s two decades of successful operation.
The session ended by the adoption of the Final Declaration wherein the Parliamentary Assembly, among other things, stressed that that the perspective of EU membership of non-member and candidate countries continues to be the main stability and security factor in the region and confirms that the Union’s policy of further enlargement significantly contributes to the peace, security, stability and prosperity of both the EU and the South East European region. The Parliamentary Assembly strongly condemns terrorism and radicalism and invites Participants to invest efforts in building a sustainable network for cooperation and information sharing in order to efficiently combat threats to peace and stability. Furthermore, the Declaration encourages the countries to foster economic cooperation, develop common infrastructural projects and entrepreneurship in the region.
The participants of the Plenary also adopted the resolutions of the three general committees in charge of economy, infrastructure and energy; on justice, home affairs and security cooperation; and on social development, education, research and science, which met before the Session, as well as the Parliamentary Assembly 2017/2018 Work Programme, after which Slovenian Parliament Speaker Milan Brglez took over the chairmanship of the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly.