Southeast European Cooperative Initiative

The Southeast European Cooperative Initiative ( SECI ) was launched in December 1996 to help provide regional peace and stability among the countries of Europe. The organization, founded by Erhard Busek and Richard Schifter , has provided regional stability, and has found support in international organizations and countries.

In 2009, the SECI was created by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Europe, aimed at strengthening peace, democracy and the economy.

The SECI headquarters are located within the Hofburg Palace in Vienna .


  • Member states :
    •  albania
    •  Bosnia and Herzegovina
    •  bulgaria
    •  croatia
    •  greece
    •  hungary
    •  Macedonia
    •  moldova
    •  Montenegro
    •  romania
    •  serbia
    •  slovenia
    •  turkey
  • Observer European states :
    •  austria
    •  azerbaijan
    •  belgium
    •  la France
    •  georgia
    •  Germany
    •  italy
    •  Netherlands
    •  Portugal
    •  spain
    •  Kosovo *
    •  Ukraine
    •  United Kingdom
  • Observe states outside Europe :
    •  Canada
    •  japan
    •  United States
  • Observer International Organizations :
    • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
    • European Institute for Law Enforcement Cooperation (EULEC)
    • International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD)
    • United Nations Mission to Kosovo ( UNMIK )


Background of the SECI

The SECI was formed in 1996 under the guidance of Richard Schifter, senior director for Eastern Europe in the United States National Security Council . The group’s mission was modeled after the Marshall Plan of 1947, which helped rebuild Europe after World War II. Since the warin Bosnia and Herzegovina, coming to a close, a need for greater stability in the region. His initial plan, called the Southeast European Cooperative Development Initiative, was intended to focus on regional cooperation in Southeast Europe (SEE), and is not considered a financial assistance plan. The idea was to allow SEE countries access to resources that would help them rebuild and stabilize, but not to provide money. Instead, outside organizations and countries like the United States would offer technical assistance. Schifter’s hunch was realized on December 14, 1995, when a cease-fire was announced and peace negotiations were signed in Dayton, Ohio under the Dayton Agreement .

Difficulties of formation

The next step is to get closer to the countries in the region and agree to join a co-operation initiative, an extremely difficult task considering the ethnic tension that dominated the region. The SECI was originally composed of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Croatia and Slovenia. However, these last three participants caused some growing pain for the initiative in its nascent stages. Yugoslavia’s invitation was revoked after the country canceled local election results when a minority party won the vote, eventually being allowed in Serbia and Montenegroand Slovenia and Croatia originally agreed to join but not to observe nations. The Slovenian concern was that they were a central European country, not part of SEE, but once Hungary joined, they quickly followed suit. Croatia was more of a challenge in not only being SEE country, but President Tudjmanin an interview with Richard Schifter said that Croatia was a „Catholic, Mediterranean country“ that wants nothing to do with „Orthodox and the Muslims.“ In 1999, President Tudjman was hospitalized, eventually dying, and shortly after, Croatia joined the SECI as a full-fledged member. Kosovo is another area of ​​contention for the SEE countries. During 1996, the United States Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo ( UNMIK ), under the UNSC Resolution 1244 , established the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo ( UNMIK ) ; in February 2008, the Assembly of Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. Despite this, they are still only recognized as an independent state by 112 UN member states, with Russia and Serbia leading the opposition of the declaration and the European Union having no official position on the situation and the United Nations that will remain in Kosovo. Kosovo has never been and is not considered a member state by the SECI, only a permanent observer.

See also

  • Stability Pact for Southern Europe (SP for SEE)
  • South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP)
  • Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)
  • Central European Initiative (CEI)
  • Black Sea Economic Co-operation (BSEC)
  • Regional Cooperation Council (RCC)
  • Partnership for Peace Information Management System (PIMS) and South-Eastern Europe Defense Ministerial Process (SEDM)