RCC Secretariat and European Commission officials discuss ways of linking EC programmes and RCC priorities
BRUSSELS/SARAJEVO – The officials of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat ended today the three-day working visit to the European Commission (EC) in Brussels, marking the beginning of intense cooperation and consultations between the two institutions.
"We received an extensive briefing on EC programmes for South Eastern Europe," said RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic. "Our aim is to link those programmes to the plans of individual countries and to the RCC priorities as a powerful impetus to the development and EU integration of the region."
The EC experts provided the RCC officials with details of the EC’s multi-beneficiary approach, as well as with the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) and the three EU technical assistance instruments: Twining, SIGMA and TAIEX (Technical Assistance Information Exchange) programmes. The IPA replaced PHARE, ISPA, SAPARD and CARDS programmes. Its funds for the 2008-2010 period equal 458 million euro.
The RCC officials were also briefed by the regional World Bank Office on their South Eastern Europe projects in the fields of trade, investment, energy, infrastructure, education, and disaster prevention and preparadness. The visit also included briefings with representatives of NATO and the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe.