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Press Office

Athens, 22 November 2021

Greek Chairmanship-in-Office of South East European Cooperation Process Parliamentary Assembly (SEECP PA): 1st Meeting of Standing Committee

The online proceedings of the 1st Session of the Standing Committee of the SEECP PA were chaired today by the Deputy Head of the Greek Parliamentary Delegation, Mr Christos Dermentzopoulos.

In his opening speech, Mr. Christos Dermentzopoulos welcomed the participants, and assured them of our country's firm support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans as a strategic goal and at the same time, stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between the countries of South-Eastern Europe, in search of solutions to jointly address the energy crisis and the increase in inflationary pressures.

On this basis, he stressed that the priorities of the Athens Chairmanship-in-Office (CiO) focus, as indicated by its motto "Strengthening SEE Synergies", on highlighting the added value of synergies in a regional and international context, as this is the only way to address every emerging challenge in today's demanding socio-economic environment.

"Particularly", he underlined, "after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the basic principles and aspirations of the SEECP remain even more relevant: Good neighbourly relations, the strengthening of democratic institutions and the rule of law, economic development and the rapprochement of Euro-Atlantic structures continue to guide all our efforts."

He concluded his statement by noting that Greece, as a member of the EU, will continue to invest in its partnerships across its neighbourhood.

Following the adoption of the agenda, the Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Openness, Mr Kostas Fragogiannis, took the floor.  In his intervention, the Deputy Minister stated, inter alia, that "during our Presidency, we intend to work closely with everyone to strengthen the primary objective, namely the further promotion of regional cooperation in South-Eastern Europe". Furthermore, Mr. Fragogiannis noted that the priorities of the Greek CiO focus on issues of common interest such as: 1) strengthening cooperation in the field of security, rule of law and human rights 2) promoting connectivity for sustainable economic development 3) cooperation in the fields of competitiveness and investment, while addressing the "brain drain" as a common challenge for the economic and social future of the region 4) addressing and promoting green growth 5) addressing the challenges of the region and the need to promote the development of the region.  Concluding his intervention, the Deputy Minister pointed out that the priorities that have been set are in line with the real and largely pressing needs of South East Europe, and that "synergies" between the partners can deliver for the benefit of all parties.     

From the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the Head of the Political Section, Mr Amer Kapetanovic, took the floor, stressing that investments in the digital market could be the foundation for sustainable growth. He also mentioned that the issue of security, the fight against organised crime, terrorism and cooperation against illegal migration is a priority for regional cooperation.

The statements of the Assembly members from Belgrade and Ankara were likewise brief and in the same spirit, while Bucharest sent its statement. The proceedings were concluded by expressing the wish to hold the forthcoming meetings in person.

Members participate in the Parliamentary Cooperation Process under the names of their capitals: Athens (Greece), Ankara (Turkey), Belgrade (Serbia), Bucharest (Romania), Zagreb (Croatia), Kishinev (Moldova), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Podgorica (Montenegro), Pristina (Kosovo), Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Skopje (North Macedonia), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Tirana (Albania).

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