President Pahor at the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Republic of Croatia, 30. 6. 2017 | press release

Today, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, attended a meeting of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) initiative at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar–Kitarović. In addition to President Pahor and the host, President Kolinda Grabar–Kitarović, today's summit was also attended by the President of Serbia, Vučić, the President of Montenegro, Vujanović, the President of Kosovo, Thaçi, the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ivanić, the President of Macedonia, Ivanov, and the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Borisov.

President Pahor at the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit in Dubrovnik
Photo: UPRS

The South-East European Cooperation Process – SEECP initiative is a non-institutionalised regional process, a forum for a diplomatic and political dialogue of the participating countries of South-East Europe, coordinated by the respective presiding country. The process was established in 1996 on the initiative of Bulgaria, and currently comprises thirteen participants: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Slovenia (since 2010).

The presidency rotates annually. In addition to professional meetings, the respective presiding country also organises formal and informal meetings of foreign ministers, and the presidency concludes with a summit of presidents of countries and governments. Today, on 30 June, Slovenia is taking over the presidency for the period between July 2017 and June 2018 from Croatia at the summit of presidents of countries and governments of the SEECP in Dubrovnik.

In his speech at the plenary discussion of the SEECP Summit, President Pahor initially thanked the Croatian hosts for their dedicated presidency of the South-East European Cooperation Process in the past year, and for their kind hospitality at the final summit in the beautiful town of Dubrovnik.

President Pahor expressed that this SEECP Summit significantly contributes to joint efforts to further promote the stability, security, welfare and integration of South-East Europe in the EU. Moreover, President Pahor assessed that the notion of regional cooperation is today an increasingly important mechanism for the promotion of good neighbourly relations and mutual respect.

In his speech, President Pahor stated that, in recent years, we have witnessed in South-East Europe a truly lively promotion of numerous initiatives for regional cooperation, and that the SEECP remains a very distinct partner in our joint regional efforts. Tomorrow, Slovenia will take over a one-year presidency of the SEECP, and the motto of the Slovenian presidency will be SEE4Future - South Eastern Europe for Future, which communicates interaction, the significance of integration and orientation towards the progress of South-East Europe. Substantive priorities will be aimed at fields of the EU enlargement, security, positive perspective of young people and the digital transformation of society

President Pahor said to all participants of the summit that, in view of the purpose and efforts of the SEECP, Slovenia is convinced that the EU enlargement remains the decisive political process in continued efforts to achieve political stability, security and general progress in South-East Europe, therefore, it will continue to actively support the process of EU enlargement. We believe that the willingness to cooperate, have a dialogue and connect enables the region to respond to current challenges and transform them into progress of South-East Europe and, in a broader sense, of Europe as a whole. It is important that the SEECP communicates its regional engagement. The cooperation experience in South-East Europe is a reflection of current dynamics and understanding of mutual dependency of relations in South-East Europe, which have a positive and practical impact on the European context.

At the end of his speech, President Pahor expressed his gratitude for future participation in the partnership and welcomed all to future SEECP meetings in Slovenia.

Following the plenary discussion, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, met the President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar–Kitarović at a bilateral meeting.