Thursday, October 11, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 11,2007) – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), with the headquarters of its General Secretariat in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, represents a new stage in the development of relations between countries in the region and the creation of a new image of Southeastern Europe, was stated yesterday at a ceremony marking the signing of Agreement on the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).

Participants in the ceremony made this remark before the official start of work of the RCC and on the occasion of the declaration of Sarajevo as the host of the RCC Secretariat.

The RCC is a result of transformation of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe and will take over activities that have been implemented by that regional initiative so far.

Participants in the ceremony agreed that there is also a certain degree of symbolism in the fact that Sarajevo has been selected as the headquarters for the RCC Secretariat, as it was in the Bosnian capital that the Stability Pact for SE Europe was established in 1999.

They concluded that the RCC will represent a new boost to the development of good neighbourly relations between countries in the region, and help their internal reforms and efforts to move closer to Europe.

Hido Biscevic of Croatia has been appointed as the RCC General Secretary. He thinks that the work of the RCC will show maturity of the countries in the region, which are now taking full responsibility for their own affairs.

He said that the RCC will facilitate the achievement of the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of every individual country, full modernisation of the region in a material and spiritual sense and the achievement of a level that will ensure EU membership.

Mutual support and solidarity will be the main principles on which the work of the RCC will rest, all with the aim of accelerating the fulfilment of priorities and the resolution of all outstanding issues.

Bosnia's Prime minister Nikola Spiric thanked for the decision to appoint Sarajevo as the headquarters of the RCC.

He said that this is an important decision both for the international community and Bosnia and that it will be a great challenge and opportunity for our country to move from the bottom position in the process of European integration.

Spiric said that the united Europe will never achieve is full potential until all countries that are geographically a part of it become its integral part.

Stability Pact Special Coordinator Erhard Busek described the work of the Stability Pact during the previous years as positive and important for the stabilisation of the region and the development of cooperation. He added that the start of activities by the RCC represents a historic moment.

The Stability Pact was established here and is now returning home in a different shape, Busek said and expressed hope that the RCC will be a “successful story”.

He said that the RCC now represents the most important instrument for cooperation in Southeast Europe.

The process of fully establishing the RCC is almost at an end. It will be consisted of five departments which will cover the most important priorities in cooperation in the region of Southeastern Europe, including energy, social and security cooperation, judiciary and human resources.

The headquarters of the RCC Secretariat will be located in the Building of Bosnian-Greek Friendship in Sarajevo.

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