The Regional Cooperation Council ( RCC ) is a regional co- operative framework for countries in Southeast Europe , with the goal of „promoting mutual co-operation and European and Euro-Atlantic integration of South East Europe“. people „.
The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) was officially launched at the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Sofia on 27 February 2008, as the successor of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe . It provides operational capabilities and strategic guidance for SEECP and functions as a focal point for South East Europe through a regionally owned and led framework. It also acts as a forum for the continued involvement of the international engaged in the region.
The Statute of the RCC forms the basis for its operations. According to it, the RCC Board provides operational guidance and supervision to the organization. It includes those RCC participants contributing to the budget of the RCC Secretariat as well as the EU , represented by a representative of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and a representative of the European Commission .
In line with its Statutes and the principles of all-inclusiveness, the main tasks of the RCC are to represent the region, assist the SEECP, monitor regional activities, provide leadership in regional cooperation the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) program – and support increased involvement of civil society in regional activities.
The organization is operating under its Strategy and Work Program 2014-16 , the main document guiding its work. This strategy was adopted at the RCC Annual Meeting in Ohrid, the Republic of Macedonia, on 30 May 2013.
The current strategy was preceded by the 2011-13 Strategy and Work Program , endorsed by the SEECP Summit held in June 2010 in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Strategy 2014-16 has been designed to respond to the needs of the South East Europe in the areas of joint interest. It sets the RCC Secretariat’s course of action for the next three years.
The core element of the RCC’s work is South East Europe (SEE) 2020, which has been adopted by the Ministerial Conference of the South East Europe Investment Committee (SEEIC) , co-chaired by the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the RCC, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 21 November 2013.
The goal of the 2020 SEE strategy (also titled: „Jobs and Prosperity in a European Perspective“) is to improve living conditions in the region and bring competitiveness and development back to focus, closely following the vision of the EU Europe 2020 strategy . It stresses out the shared vision of the SEE economies to open up to 1 million new jobs by 2020, by enabling employment growth from 39% to 44%, increase of total regional trade turnover by more than double from 94 to 210 billion euro, the average of 36% to 44% of the EU per capita , and the addition of 300,000 highly qualified people to the workforce.
The strategy is developed by the RCC Secretariat in consultation with governments of SEE, European Commission , and regional and international institutions, following a mandate by the region’s ministers of economy.
The RCC participants included 46 countries, organizations and international financial institutions. The organization has a Secretariat based in Sarajevo , Bosnia and Herzegovina , headed by Secretary General Goran Svilanović , who took office on 1 January 2013, following the appointment in June 2012 by the SEECP foreign ministers. In this post, Svilanović succeeded Hido Bičević, the first RCC Secretary General, who held the post for five years in two consecutive mandates (2008-12). Apart from the Sarajevo headquarters, the Secretariat has a Liaison Office in Brussels with European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. The RCC meeting format consists of the Annual Meeting and Meetings of the RCC Board, held three times a year.
„Helping prosperity and growth through regional action in South East Europe, while supporting European and Euro-Atlantic integration, is what the Regional Cooperation Council is all about. Where does it matter and what does it do for the future? cooperation.“
– Goran Svilanović, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council
Participants of the RCC:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Council of Europe
- Council of Europe Development Bank
- Czech Republic
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- European Investment Bank
- European Union (EU), represented by a representative of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and a representative of the European Commission
- Federal Republic of Germany
- International Organization for Migration
- Kosovo * ¤
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
- South East European Co-operative Initiative
- The Republic of Macedonia
- United Kingdom
- United Nations
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
- United Nations Development Program
- United States
- World Bank
¤ Participants in RCC Board
* 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.