Newsletter 20/2012 - Activities in brief
Platform for joint action signed by eight South East European stock exchanges
Directors of eight South East European (SEE) securities (stock) exchanges signed a Platform for Joint Action under the auspices of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 27 March 2012.
Introductory remarks at the signing ceremony were delivered by Hido Biscevic, RCC Secretary General, Allan E. Reed, Director of USAID’s Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ivan Steriev, Chief Executive Officer of the Securities Exchange in Skopje.
“The documents signed by regulators and security exchanges in the region clearly establish resolution of the participating institutions and outline possible areas for cooperation that would lead to more integrated capital market in SEE”, said Biscevic in his opening remarks.
The Platform is to enhance cooperation among the securities exchanges and improve access to finance in the region, which is a key prerequisite for private sector growth. It has been spearheaded by the RCC Secretariat and the Partners for Financial Stability Program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The main goals of the Platform include moving the capital markets in the region towards greater and more direct linkages, as well as providing an environment that promotes capital formation within SEE and more access to individual markets by domestic and foreign investors.
The Platform will enable exchange of experience, and raise public awareness and the overall level of knowledge about financial markets among the general population. It will support harmonization of the securities regulatory regimes governing South East European markets, resulting in systemic strength and investor protection, on a cost-effective basis.
The signatories of the Platform are securities exchanges from Banja Luka, Belgrade, Ljubljana, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Tirana and Zagreb.
Southeast Europe Investment Committee (SEEIC) adopts Work Programme for 2012-2013 at 10th meeting in Sarajevo
Southeast Europe Investment Committee (SEEIC) adopted its two-year Work Programme for 2012-2013 at the 10th regular meeting and the first one under management of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 24-25 April 2012.
The Work Programme seeks to create and implement a common vision for economic development in South East Europe by 2020; increase competitiveness of the region through supporting linkages between business companies; and present the region as an attractive investment destination.
In cooperation with the European Commission, the meeting included a session on programming the regional component of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), dedicated to private sector development.
The meeting also included a session on programming regional IPA component dedicated to private sector development, organized in cooperation with the European Commission
The event brought together SEEIC members from the region, national IPA coordinators, as well as representative of international organizations, donor and business community.
The management of the South East Europe Investment Committee has been transferred to the Regional Cooperation Council from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at a ministerial conference held in Paris, France, in November 2011.
A Memorandum of Understanding on the SEEIC transfer from OECD to RCC was signed by OECD and RCC Secretaries General, Angel Gurría and Hido Biscevic, respectively.
International Girls in ICT Day stresses greater involvement of female students in the sector
Opportunities for study, work and personal development that information and communication technologies (ICT) offer to female students was the focus of the International Girls in ICT Day that was marked in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 25 April 2012.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in partnership with the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat, the United Nations Development Programme, Microsoft, Oracle, Lexmark and One World – Platform for South East Europe Foundation.
Expressing hope that a greater number of female students will pursue ICT careers, Dinka Zivalj, RCC Spokesperson/Head of Media Unit, stressed in her opening remarks the importance of a stimulating educational system, family and overall social environment.
“RCC recognizes the establishment of Information Society as a key regional priority and supports programmes that promote an open and competitive market for information society, strengthen innovation and investment in ICT research and education, thus promoting growth and new jobs.”
The event brought together female primary and high school students from different parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and successful ICT professionals from governments, academia, and private sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, who shared their experiences and insights into the importance of ICT education as a future career choice.
The International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative launched by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) members in 2011 with the idea to create a global environment that will empower and encourage girls and young women to consider careers in the field of information and communication technologies.
Promoting development of information society in South East Europe is a priority of the RCC Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013. A successful completion of this event is expected to create conditions for a broader regional action in the area.
Project to improve cooperation in South East Europe by strengthening Regional Cooperation Council launched in Sarajevo
The project Improving Cooperation in South-East Europe by Actions for Strengthening the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) was launched in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, at a kick-off meeting organized by the Central European Initiative (CEI) in cooperation with the RCC Secretariat on 16 March 2012.
The meeting was opened by Jelica Minic, Deputy RCC Secretary General, and Giorgio Rosso Cicogna, Alternate Secretary General of the Central European initiative (CEI). They underlined the importance of regional cooperation for the integration of Western Balkan countries in the European Union.
The aim of the project is to enhance the strategic importance of the RCC as a recognized coordinator, supervisor and catalyst of regional cooperation. The focus will be on increasing the RCC Secretariat’s role in regional projects generation, coordination and monitoring, to benefit South East Europe as a whole and each country individually.
The project, implemented by the CEI, is to support regional cohesion in South East Europe and the EU enlargement process, and strengthen the RCC Secretariat. It is 90% financed by the European Union through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance – IPA Regional Programme 2010 and its worth is 890,000 euro.
Regional Cooperation Council Board accepts organization’s annual report
Members of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Board accepted the Annual Report 2011-2012 of the organization’s Secretary General and approved the financial report for 2011, at the Board’s meeting held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 15 May 2012.
“The Annual Report highlights developments in regional cooperation in South East Europe, points to the remaining political and socio-economic issues in the region, focuses on the state of relations of the South East European countries with the EU, and presents the results of the RCC Secretariat in implementing the organization’s Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013”, said Hido Biscevic, RCC Secretary General.
Secretary General Biscevic singled out several key RCC achievements for the past year that include: transfer of the South East European Investment Committee from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to the RCC; adoption of the Regional Strategic Document and Action Plan 2011-2013 on Justice and Home Affairs; cooperation of defence ministries and military intelligence; regional cooperation of public service broadcasters and establishment of the Task Force on Culture and Society.
In addition, Secretary General Biscevic presented his regular report covering the last two months of activities of the RCC Secretariat, shared information on future events and the coordination of activities between the SEECP Troika (Montenegro, Serbia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), the European Union and the RCC Secretariat, as well as preparations for the upcoming Annual Meeting of the organization, to be held in Belgrade on 13 June 2012.
The participants were informed about the candidates for the post of RCC Secretary General, with the selected candidate to be appointed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) at their meeting in Belgrade, on 14 June 2012, and approved by the SEECP Heads of State and Government the following day.