Under the Croatian one-year Chairmanship-in-Office of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), since 1 July 2016 the Croatian Parliament has been presiding over the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly. Consequently, the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament became the President of the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly. The guiding principle of the Croatian Chairmanship-in-Office can be summarized in the following motto:
"Connection. Communication. Cooperation."
In the letter addressed to the Speakers of Parliaments of the SEECP participating countries in July this year, the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament presented the priorities of the Croatian presidency over the Parliamentary Assembly:
• further work on the institutionalization of the Assembly and on the strengthening of its visibility;
• support to the SEECP participating countries in their efforts for EU membership and Euro-Atlantic integration;
• strengthening the cooperation between the Parliamentary Assembly and other international assemblies, the European Parliament and the RCC;
• strengthening the work of the general committees.
In the year ahead and in line with the adopted Work Programme 2016-2017, the Croatian Parliament will organize at least two meetings of the PA Standing Committee, one plenary session and additional meetings if these are needed and if PA members so agree.
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 participating countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey. The SEECP PA's primary goal is to strengthen the cooperation and to mainstream the efforts of the parliaments of all the participating countries so as to advance and further ensure peace, security, stability, solidarity and neighbourly cooperation in the region to the benefit of its citizens and of Europe in general.
*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.