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21 JUN 2011

RCC Secretary General takes part in EU-Western Balkans ministerial meeting

Hido Biscevic, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council. (Photo/Europe by Satellite)

Hido Biscevic, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council. (Photo/Europe by Satellite)

Hido Biscevic, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), took part in the ministerial meeting EU-Western Balkans: Western Balkans Forum, held in Luxembourg yesterday.

Ahead of the next week’s RCC Annual Meeting, as well as ministerial and summit meetings of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), Secretary General Biscevic gave an overview of the state of cooperation in the region.

He stressed the importance of dialogue, reconciliation and rapprochement for the overall advancement of South East Europe.

“The rapprochement process should be as inclusive as possible, involving wide social groups, such as parliamentarians, civil society and the media, in order for it to be irreversible. The upcoming conclusion of accession talks with Croatia should serve as an impetus for the region to continue with necessary reforms and take up a historical responsibility to solve the remaining open issues in South East Europe, given the changes on the international agenda.”

The Secretary General underlined that the RCC continues with a robust implementation of its Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013, with tangible progress already visible in justice and home affairs, security and economic cooperation, building human capital, etc.

“We need to strengthen awareness among the countries of the region of a need to cooperate more closely on large regional projects, such as railways reconstruction and similar trans-national projects”, concluded Biscevic.

The meeting was a part of continuous efforts of the EU to keep the enlargement countries of the Western Balkans closely in focus as they strive to meet requirements of the accession process. That point was underlined by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice-President, Catharine Ashton, who chaired the meeting, as European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, gave an overview of the current track record of each aspiring country. The meeting was attended by a number of EU ministers of foreign affairs, ministers from the region, European External Action Service Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia, Miroslav Lajčák, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentine Inzko, and representatives of various international organizations.

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