Zagreb – The Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Mr Gordan Jandroković chaired the Fourth Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), held on Saturday in Zagreb within the framework of the Croatian Chairmanship-in-Office of the SEECP.
The Session gathered the representatives of 13 parliaments who discussed the topic of “Connection, Cooperation, Communication – the Way Forward”. Along with the Speaker of Parliament, the meeting was attended by the Deputy-Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Mr Željko Reiner, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Ms Marija Pejčinović Burić and the National Coordinator for SEECP Mr Mario Horvatić.
Apart from Members of Parliament from the 13 SEECP Participants, the Session was attended by the Speakers of Parliament from Slovenia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Deputy-Speakers of Parliament from Serbia and Turkey, as well as representatives of international and regional organizations.
In his address to the Assembly, the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Mr Jandroković 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. “Our connection is deeply rooted in our history, tradition, geography, culture, transport infrastructure, and especially in the economy – which, I believe, all of our countries want to develop” he said and added that the development of the economy and economic stability could not be achieved without connections with neighbours and the environment we lived in and without the political decision to provide a better future for the citizens. The Speaker of the Sabor also made reference to the numerous terrorist attacks in Europe and underlined the necessity of cooperation and of investing great efforts in the area of information exchange. He reiterated Croatia’s strong support to the enlargement of the European Union and of NATO as well as Croatia’s genuine commitment to the European perspective and future of the South East European countries.
The session ended by the adoption of the Final Declaration. The Assembly highlights in the Final Declaration, among other things, 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 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 terrorist threats. Furthermore, the Declaration encourages the efforts of the SEECP Participants to foster entrepreneurial learning and aims enshrined in the Zagreb Charter on Lifelong Entrepreneurial Learning, which was adopted after the SEECP ministerial meeting organized by the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts in December 2016 in Zagreb, and calls for the creation of a positive economic environment in the neighbouring countries.
The resolutions of the three general committees in charge of economy, justice and social development were also adopted at the Session, as well as the Work Programme 2017/2018 when the Chairmanship-in-Office of the Assembly will be held by the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia. The meetings of the Standing Committee and the General Committees were held within the framework of the Plenary Session of the SEECP PA and were chaired by Mr Predrag Matić, Head of the Delegation of the Croatian Parliament to the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly.
On the margins of the Plenary Session, the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Mr Gordan Jandroković held two separate meetings with the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia Mr Milan Brglez and with the Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Ivan Brajović.
The SEECP Parliamentary Assembly was formally set up at the inaugural session held in Romania in 2014. It gathers the representatives of 13 parliaments of the SEECP Participants: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey.
*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.