East Europe Common Assessment Paper on Regional Security
Challenges and Opportunities
- Aiming to contribute to the achievement of the goals
of NATO's South East Europe Initiative (SEEI), the Stability
Pact for South Eastern Europe, and regional cooperation
processes, such as the South East Europe Co-operation
Process (SEECP) and South East Defence Ministers process
Aiming also to promote the objectives of the Charter
on Good Neighbourly Relations, Stability, Security and
Cooperation in South-Eastern Europe signed in Bucharest
on 12 February 2000.
Conceived by the States of the region as a contribution
to fostering dialogue and consolidating good neighbourly
relations and co-operation among countries in South
East Europe (Hereinafter SEE), with the aim of enhancing
regional stability and security.
Aiming further to promote a better understanding of
the challenges and opportunities facing SEE countries,
and to facilitate actions to address these challenges,
as well as to complement the efforts of international
organisations, such as the UN, OSCE, NATO, European
Union and Council of Europe.
Striving to intensify and enhance the participants'
common and individual contributions to European stability
and to the construction of a lasting and stable security
- Countries participating in NATO's SEEI, the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia as another participant in the
Stability Pact and member of the SEECP, and interested
- Followed up the recommendation of the North Atlantic
Council, in the framework of SEEI, to develop and
endorse in a regionally based process a Common Assessment
- Agreed that the SEECAP would address the regional
security challenges and opportunities from a broad
perspective including an overview of the strategic
environment; specific challenges and opportunities;
and general principles and proposed actions and instruments
to address the challenges;
- Developed this South East Europe Common Assessment
Paper on Regional Security Challenges and Opportunities
(hereinafter SEECAP) as a common document that sets
out perceptions, expectations and agendas shared by
all its participants.
- Consequently, the SEECAP was endorsed in Budapest
on 29 May 2001 by a Declaration of Foreign Ministers.
The Strategic Environment
- The strategic environment of Europe is still in a
state of transformation. Consequently, a redefinition
of the role of international organisations and institutions
has been taking place, including through involvement
in conflict prevention and regional crisis management.
- A comprehensive approach to security and stability
encompassing all their aspects - political, military,
economic, human, social, environmental, information,
and others - is developing.
- Overall, a new Euro-Atlantic security architecture
is emerging in which NATO will continue to contribute
decisively to the establishment of a fully effective
collective system for security and stability, including
by maintaining and reinforcing the vital transatlantic
link and providing one of the indispensable foundations
for a stable Euro-Atlantic security environment.
- The reigning vision is that of an integrated and democratic
Europe without dividing lines. Enlargement processes
of the EU and NATO, as well as EAPC and the Partnership
for Peace are leading this vision. However, there are
challenges on the path to European and Euro-Atlantic
- As far as the SEE is concerned, the last decade has
witnessed the continuing transition from authoritarian
governments and centrally planned economies to pluralist
democracies and free markets. Each country is adapting
to the new situation. All countries of the SEE have
democratically elected governments. The success of the
democratic and free market reforms is crucial for the
- Key elements promoting peace, security and stability
in the region include:
Although significant progress towards peace and stability
has been made, challenges still exist as will be set
out in this document.
- Consolidation of democratic values;
- Cooperation with and possible membership in NATO
and the European Union, keeping in mind the individual
priorities of each country in SEE. NATO and EU are
thus perceived as having a significant role towards
assisting SEE countries to enhance security and stability
in the region;
- Establishing effective regional cooperation mechanisms
such as SEECP and SEDM, including their practical
outcomes such as the Multinational Peace Force South
East Europe (MPFSEE) or the Charter on Good Neighbourly
Relations, Stability, Security and Cooperation in
- Respecting the principles enshrined in the Helsinki
Final Act and relevant OSCE documents, particularly
those relating to territorial integrity and sovereignty
of all States.
No single state or international organisation can
deal with these challenges by itself. A concerted effort
towards security and stability is needed. Consequently,
regional and international cooperation and also the
ongoing integration processes are indispensable to address
challenges. An appropriate identification of the challenges
to security in the region supported by well-defined
principles of cooperation is needed to make this endeavour
Specific Challenges to Security
- The identified challenges to security are grouped
under several categories for ease of reference. However,
they are frequently interconnected and aggravation in
one can exacerbate the others, bringing unpredictable
consequences. Not all challenges specifically affect
each country or affect in similar degree. But, they
can affect other countries due to indivisibility of
- After recent democratic changes in the region, participants
perceive in the foreseeable future no direct threat
of military aggression on the part of one state against
others' national sovereignty, territorial integrity
or political independence.
- However, risk factors playing into instability are
present as a challenge to national, regional and Euro-Atlantic
security. In the political field, these risks are associated
mainly with the following:
- Ethnic tensions and failure to respect differing
ethnic, religious and cultural values are important
challenges for the region. Specific issues would include
intolerance and xenophobia, non-compliance with democratic
principles and practices, treaties and international
agreements regarding the respect of rights of persons
belonging to national minorities. Opposition to ethnic
reconciliation, ethnically motivated violence - extremism
and terrorism - and difficulties in establishing effective
multiethnic democratic institutions present a continuing
threat to stability in the region, and in neighbouring
countries. The future stability and security in Southeast
Europe will depend very much on successful management
of inter-ethnic, -religious and -cultural relations.
- Extreme and violent nationalism could be exacerbated
by state practices, armed groups, criminal networks
and terrorism. Extremist nationalists misuse the principle
of people's right to self-determination to challenge
the sovereignty and inviolability of territorial integrity
- The protraction of boundary and other contentious
issues and lack of political will to resolve them
as quickly as possible and in accordance with international
law could provide a source of risk to national and
regional security. Peaceful resolution of these disputes
requires the political will and bona fide effort of
the parties involved.
- Terrorist activities and militant extremism also
generate political challenges and instability. This
can be aggravated by links between local extremists
and international terrorist and radical fundamentalist
groups, and attempts to use the region as a transit
point for missions in third countries, as well as
expansion of links with organised crime as a significant
- Organised crime constitutes a serious challenge
to the security of the region. In particular, money
laundering, illegal trafficking of arms, narcotics,
human beings, components and materials for weapons
of mass destruction are menaces to many countries.
Criminal networks in many cases operate across borders.
They are often linked with corruption and finance
terrorist and illegal armed groups activities.
- Disruptions in regional, European and Euro-Atlantic
integration processes and consequent potential isolation
and estrangement of nations are potentially significant
challenges. Integration in international organisations,
particularly NATO and the EU, reinforces regional
countries' national aspirations and provides essential
impetus to democratic, economic and social reforms
and cooperative security policies. Integration processes
also help alleviate entrenched national concerns and
promote resolution of long-standing disputes and could
assist countries in addressing the challenges to their
sovereignty and territorial integrity. Regional cooperation
may help to reinforce the principle that each State
is free to choose its own security arrangements. Such
cooperation based on shared values would promote transparency
and productive regional initiatives that do not create
new dividing lines.
- Weapons and proliferation. Arms control agreements
and processes provide confidence, stability and transparency
mechanisms, which improve the sense of security among
countries. Further work needs to be done to promote
arms control and non-proliferation both within and
outside the region to deal with relevant challenges
that are set out in the defence-military chapter.
- Insufficient early warning, conflict prevention
and crisis management capabilities and cooperation
structures need to be addressed at the regional, Euro-Atlantic
and global levels. Uncertainty and instability in
and around the Euro-Atlantic area could evolve rapidly,
endangering SEE as well. Potentially, serious violations
of the obligations undertaken by states under the
United Nations Charter and international agreements
and treaties, in particular resorting to force to
settle problems, could also lead to conflict and destabilise
the whole region. Decisiveness and political will
of the regional countries and the international community
to defend the principles of peaceful conduct is very
important. The adaptation of regional and international
organisations to improve early warning, conflict prevention
and, when these fail, crisis management in the region
is essential. Therefore, it is an imperative to use
effectively the existing early warning and conflict
prevention mechanisms or to create new ones as necessary.
- Subversion and deliberate disinformation, including
by the acts of foreign intelligence services and terrorist
and criminal networks can also threaten stability.
External support to or instigation of extremist or
secessionist movements aimed at undermining national
sovereignty and territorial integrity would also be
- The international perception of the region as a
source of insecurity and instability is another issue
that, although not a security challenge per se, impacts
negatively in a variety of fields of interest to regional
stabilisation and security ranging from economic investments
to pace of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
Development of regional cooperation, economic opportunity
and the rule of law with the active support of the
international community would help improve this perception.
- There is no perceived risk of military aggression between
states in SEE in the current and foreseeable political
environment. Military forces of SEE countries do not target
each other. A number of checks and balances, including
a number of arms control and non-proliferation arrangements
and confidence- and security-building measures are in
place. Warning time for changes in military posture and
political intent is sufficiently high. Regional cooperation
processes further increase military confidence and stability.
The fundamental roles of the armed forces of SEE countries
are deterrence, protection, participation in collective
and other security arrangements and contribution to international
- However, SEE countries are required to deal with specific
challenges in the security field that have significant
implications for their armed forces and for Europe as
a whole. These include the following:
- Illegal armed groups that are or could in the future
become operational against the security of States potentially
challenge the stability of intra- and inter-State relations.
The challenge would be to prevent the creation of such
armed groups and stop their activities under legal procedures
inter alia through disarmament, cutting the sources
for their financing and strengthening borders.
- Terrorism. Protection of populations from the scourge
of terrorism is an important task even for those states
that are not immediately targeted by these groups. It
is an important challenge and task to apply commensurate
force under full democratic control and respect for
- Providing full accountability of the armed forces
to the civil society. Democratic control over the armed
forces is an essential element of democratic development.
Enhancing this control requires placing decisions over
resources for defence establishments within national
public debate. External and internal transparency of
defence plans and budgets is an important aspect of
this accountability. Lack of accountability lessens
incentives to develop reasoned and realistic national
security strategies and supporting national military
strategies, which should in turn justify force structure
decisions and priorities. Training of competent civilian
expertise to assume responsibility in defence issues
is a requirement that needs sustained effort.
- Proliferation. All the States in SEE are committed
to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
and their delivery systems. They have no national programmes
or intentions to develop or acquire such weapons. They
are determined to upholding international non-proliferation
regimes. However, they acknowledge that preventing the
illegal trade and transfers of material, including dual-use
material and components, for weapons of mass destruction
and their delivery systems poses a challenge.
Furthermore, countries in SEE recognise that proliferation
in other regions can and does occur and they would need
appropriate protection against possible threat or use
of weapons of mass destruction, not the least by terrorist
Overall, non-observance or circumvention of arms control,
disarmament and non-proliferation obligations and insufficient
responses to such violations particularly by countries
outside the region is a potential challenge to the security
of the states in SEE.
- Destabilising accumulation and illegal transfer of
conventional weapons including small arms and light
weapons and ammunition, as well as the slow pace of
disposal of redundant weapons would create a security
challenge. There is an urgent need for effective programmes
for the collection and destruction of illegally possessed
arms and ammunition.
- Anti-personnel landmines in mine affected areas continue
to inflict casualties and damage, and cause serious
obstacles to post-conflict reconstruction and to the
return of refugees and displaced persons. They also
pose a serious risk to forces involved in peace support
operations. In addition to individual efforts of countries
in the region and adherence to relevant international
instruments, effective regional cooperation and international
assistance, including in the fields of data collection,
demining, stockpile destruction and victim assistance,
are needed to address this challenge.
- Management of Change. There are new roles for national
armed forces, which require a deep transformation of
their structures and doctrines. Defence reform is a
necessity and a high priority in the region and has
its own set of challenges. Already, processes of reform
are underway to reorient, re-organize and downsize them.
Those countries aspiring to join NATO recognize the
fact that their armed forces must be able to deal effectively
with the full range of missions including collective
defence and peace support operations. Achieving this
end-state requires a long-term effort and bears significant
costs for the states involved.
States involved in downsizing confront the challenge
of finding the right balance between the speed with
which they must proceed and the need to mitigate the
human and economic consequences on the afflicted personnel.
Retraining programmes play an important role in facilitating
personnel reductions. However, their positive impact
is limited among others by the competitive market conditions
and difficulties in re-equipping with sometimes entirely
new skills that are required in a civilian economy.
Transparency and consistency of decommissioning of personnel
is an absolute necessity to maintain legitimacy of personnel
The advanced technical and technological skills required
by the armed forces increasingly compete with those
of the civilian labour markets thereby creating a brain
drain from the military. Military personnel systems
will therefore have to provide for adequate quality
of life to retain skilled personnel.
In the process of defence reform, and in particular
in downsizing, many countries face the need to close
military bases, which has active short-term economic
and political consequences. These closures need to be
managed carefully in order not to create adverse reactions
that may potentially impact negatively on overall defence
Similarly, modernisation, while expensive when procuring
new hardware, is at the same time costly in terms of
discarding old equipment as well as posing an environmental
Overall, reform of the armed forces is politically
sensitive and financially demanding and cannot be done
without a clearly motivating prospect of improving the
defensive capabilities and posture of the states, particularly
through possible membership in an effective alliance
such as NATO.
Failure of this reform and disruptions in integration
processes could result in negative consequences on regional
and international security.
- Further adaptation of military and security strategies
and doctrines is also an area which continues to require
effort, in order to fully reflect the positive developments
in the security environment, as well as to deeply embed
cooperative strategies, transparency of defence planning
and budgeting, and the principles of international humanitarian
The use of military personnel for international peacekeeping,
environmental and other catastrophes may create tensions
within the military that might perceive their more traditional
defence capabilities including training eroded by such
peacetime tasks. This creates new demands on the military
forces and requires appropriate training and redefinition
- In addition to the reform of the Armed Forces, the
reform of the entire spectrum of security agencies including
the police, internal troops, border security units,
internal security services is a challenge faced by the
countries of SEE. Whereas various international transparency
and international cooperation processes, including the
PfP, arms control, CSBMs and others, address the traditional
armed forces, other state-security agencies are not
affected by such mechanisms. A fresh look at reform
of the broader security sector is required at all levels,
national, regional and international.
- Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management. Although
all SEE countries agree that the Euro-Atlantic security
is indivisible and that security cannot be regionalised,
establishment of effective regional conflict prevention
and crisis management capabilities and mechanisms are
required to complement broader arrangements.
Multinationality is the organising idea that would
shape regional response capabilities and mechanisms.
Regional cooperation processes, such as Southeast Europe
Defence Ministerials (SEDM) and South East Europe Co-operation
Process (SEECP) are already exploring with success this
area. The MFPSEE is a successful example of emerging
regional crisis management capabilities.
There are challenges to fulfil this mission, which
are mitigated by various international processes particularly
the Partnership for Peace. However, important challenges
nonetheless remain, such as questions of interoperability,
varying levels of engagement in such processes, and
differing capabilities and strained resources, and existing
possibilities for full connectivity and complementarity
with broader arrangements, as well as overcoming political
- The economic situation has a direct bearing on the
region's security and stability and can challenge the
critical integration and reform processes pursued by
- The crises, wars and side effects of economic sanctions
of the past decade have taken a heavy toll on the whole
region's economic development. SEE countries have been
or are pursuing economic reforms in spite of enormous
difficulties. They have generally liberalised the markets,
as well as trade and foreign exchange systems. Institutional
restructuring and reform including in governmental,
industrial, financial or banking areas are a fundamental
priority for all the states.
- Healthy economic development is an absolute pre-requisite
to ensure the long-term stability of the region. While
the economic trend in general is positive, some challenges
remain, including the following:
- Stabilisation and control of basic macroeconomic
indicators such as inflation, current account and
trade balances, public spending or sustainable growth.
Problems related to democratic transformation add
to the difficulty of observing efficient economic
and monetary policies.
- High unemployment, partly caused by war-damaged
industries/ infrastructures and partly by systemic
changes, is a major source of risk for the economic
and political stability of the region. The lack of
labour force mobility and flexibility is another structural
- Problems related to attracting foreign investment.
Currently, the region lacks consistent strategic investment
and does not attract substantial Foreign Direct Investments
due among other things to negative perceptions of
the region. The region faces an immediate challenge
to create the right conditions to attract foreign
investment as a stimulus to economic growth and development.
- Regional cooperation processes, with specialised
international organisations, could play a significant
role in increasing the region's economical prospects.
They should be financially supported in greater extent
and given higher visibility in the region. Integration
into international organisations is both an incentive
and a thrust for many of the region's economies.
- Difficulties of transforming command economies.
The magnitude of the required resource re-allocation
for the transformation of centralized economies and
the frictions caused by system change have made restructuring
a difficult and prolonged process. Underdeveloped
entrepreneurial and management culture is also a challenge
both for the establishment and proper functioning
of small and medium enterprises, which are the foundation
of any market society, and the general run of the
economic reform at governmental or micro-economic
levels. The contribution and initiatives of local
communities should be given greater support and integrated
into transformation strategies.
- Commercialisation and Privatisation. The public
perception of privatisation has suffered in the region
due to allegations of "nomenklatura privatisation"
where newly formed companies by members of the old
regimes have cheaply obtained former state property.
However, despite the significant progress, further
privatisation is a requirement that could yield very
significant benefits to regional economies. A dynamic
private sector is a key to the ability of the countries
to seize the opportunities that can be provided by
improved access to international markets, the establishment
and consolidation of macroeconomic stability and trade
liberalization. The region has some notable public-owned
industrial base, which require modernisation and commercialisation
in order remain viable. Their financing needs for
rehabilitation and modernization are unlikely to be
fully met by the public sector, and sustained improvements
in efficiency require the introduction of competition.
Long delays in marketising the economy could render
increased public debt and make necessary reforms much
more painful and destabilizing in the future.
- Industry structure disequilibria and path-dependencies
from the former economic affiliations still are a
problem for market economies of the region to correct.
External market re-orientations, trade disruptions,
low investment in fixed assets and technological modernisation,
currency substitution, prolonged periods of declining
industrial output are all strong factors affecting
proper economy re-organisation.
- Dependency on vital external resource supplies has
the potential to affect arbitrarily the direction
and independence of economic development of the countries
in the region. This is also a direct political and
- Significant economic disparities within countries,
between countries in the region and with neighbouring
regions coupled with inadequate economic connectivity
are a challenge for the regional economic development.
- Infrastructure. Lack of well-developed and interconnected
regional transport, energy and telecommunication infrastructure,
and difficulties in establishing regional segments
of strategic transcontinental transport corridors
can hamper economic development.
- Existence of shadow economies largely perpetuated
by difficulties of economic restructuring but also
by tax evasion and the interests of organized crime
is a big challenge to overcome.
- Brain drain and qualified labour force migration
pose a serious challenge. As a result of poor economic
conditions or conflicts the majority of the SEE countries
face the depletion of valuable human resources, which
is one of the worst impediments for their long-term
growth potential. Deterioration of the educational
system because of the lack of resources is an additional
factor in this matter.
and Democratic Development Challenges
- States of SEE have entered the new century following
a decade of social upheaval. Protection and promotion
of human and civil rights, articulation of interests,
and nurturing of civil society is best realised through
democratic governance. Important progress has been achieved
in the consolidation of democracy. Protecting democratic
development and sustaining progress in consolidating
democracy and the rule of law remain important challenges
for the security of SEE. The radical transformations
of the social system and the consequences of conflicts
and instability of the preceding decade continue to
exert considerable strain on SEE countries. Particularly,
the following challenges confront the region:
- Social stability is under stress because of frustrations
about perceived economic inequalities and government
inefficiency. The rule of law is an essential precondition
for ensuring equality of opportunity. Fragility of
the rule of law and insufficient civil society structures
characterizes many SEE countries. The lack of transparency
of state administrations could severely constrain
the freedom of action for the civil society.
- In some cases, there is a lack of institutional
checks and balances to provide public accountability,
including fully independent judiciaries and the existence
of a rule of law applied equally and consistently
to all citizens.
- Corruption is an important factor affecting the
development of societies in SEE. Corruption adversely
affects the reform processes and establishment of
market economy principles and mechanisms.
- Illegal migration, which is largely connected with
organized crime, also challenges the internal stability
of various countries and could create extra strains
in their efforts to join the EU. Strengthening border
control requires expertise and substantial resources.
- Ineffective structures for preserving public order
are perceived as a threat as citizens fear for their
lives and property. Failures of police and judicial
systems to enforce existing laws nourish feelings
- Massive refugee flows, particularly as a consequence
of armed conflicts and violence, could threaten the
internal stability of the countries of transit, asylum
or shelter. Refugees and displaced persons are often
confronted with hardships as countries are not always
in a position to provide them the necessary conditions
for decent life.
- Freedom of the Media and public's access to information
are key to democratic development, and need to be
safeguarded and enhanced, consistent with the principles
of journalistic integrity and objectivity.
Challenges and Civil Emergencies
- SEE's valuable environmental resources face a variety
of challenges and have been degrading over the years.
This poses a threat to human safety and damages the
economic value of the significant environmental assets.
The lack of consideration by totalitarian regimes for
the environmental impact of industrial structures and
energy systems as well as the difficulties in the last
decade have made it imperative to focus closely on the
rich environmental resources of the region and halt
and reverse their degradation. Many environmental issues
need to be addressed at the regional level, including
through information exchange and joint coordination
and cooperation frameworks. Civil emergencies caused
by natural or technological disasters or as a consequence
of conflicts also influence the region's stability and
need a prompt and coordinated reaction. Some of the
key challenges related to the environment or civil emergencies
are set out below:
- Management of Civil Emergencies. SEE is very much
prone to and can suffer immensely from natural disasters
including earthquakes, floods, massive forest fires
and landslides, severe storms and draught, and extreme
temperatures. Similarly, technological disasters do
occur with severe implications for the region and
beyond. Crises and conflicts have produced civil emergencies,
especially in relation with large refugee flows. Adequate,
coordinated and timely response to civil emergencies
is an imperative. Therefore, insufficient regional
early warning and crisis management mechanisms exacerbate
various challenges of this nature.
- Industrial Pollution is a challenge despite the
measures taken in many countries. Specific challenges
with regard to industrial pollution include inadequate
safety standards in industrial production, especially
in nuclear power stations, or the improper handling
of toxic substances and high-risk industrial processes.
Poor or delayed regulations create the conditions
for low-tech and environmentally harmful operation
of domestic and foreign economic enterprises, which
include risks for radioactive or toxic contamination.
- Disposal of Military Waste. The SEE faces environmental,
human and other challenges due to inappropriate handling
of military waste, in particular resulting from the
improper disposal of armament and obsolescent military
- Pollution and Management of Water Resources. Although
the region is blessed with abundant freshwater resources,
there are challenges related to water quality and
spatial and seasonal distribution, as well as to protection
of biodiversity in these water systems, including
in the Danube and other rivers and the trans-boundary
lake ecosystems. Intensive agricultural, industrial
and urban use creates an artificial strain on water
resources, whereas ineffective national water resource
management and limited existing multilateral and regional
cooperation exacerbate the challenge.
- Collection and Disposal of Solid Waste. The problems
of collection of garbage, inadequate storage for hazardous
waste, shortage of garbage disposal facilities, as
well as indiscriminate disposal practices, such as
dumping into unsanitary landfills, dumpsites in ravines
and valleys or directly into water bodies create serious
impact on environmental safety, including on the healthiness
of the groundwater resources.
- Land and Soil Degradation creates an environmental
safety challenge and has a variety of causes such
as overgrazing and over cultivation or uncontrolled
exploitation and conversion of forests. The privatisation
of land needs enforcement of appropriate land conservation
rules to prevent soil erosion and degradation.
- Coastal Zone Management poses an economic as well
as environmental challenge. Overall, the adoption
and effective implementation of regulatory frameworks
for coastal zones in each of the coastal country is
a key issue.
Opportunities for Cooperation
- It is important to find ways to address the challenges
set out in SEECAP, through national effort, but also
through cooperation at regional or wider levels, which
can make responses more effective. Facilitating the
achievement of the SEEI, the SEECAP therefore contributes
to supporting and complementing the objectives of the
Stability Pact for South East Europe.
- In addition to a number of broader processes, including
those related to European and Euro-Atlantic integration,
a number of regional initiatives, particularly the SEDM
and SEECP, are active in addressing various challenges.
Many of the challenges are being addressed by the United
Nations, OSCE, NATO, EU, Council of Europe and other
international organisations. The Stability Pact acts
as a catalyst promoting synergies among various endeavours.
SEEGROUP is also available as a tool to conduct exchange
of information regarding practical activities. SEECAP
can complement these processes.
- Therefore, the following flexible and non-institutional
approach could be pursued:
- A regional agenda. The SEECAP is a flexible, general
indicator of regional priorities and offers a checklist
of challenges and opportunities, which may help guide
national, regional and international efforts.
- Regional Ownership and Lead. The practice of individual
nations assuming the coordination of specific initiatives
has been proving useful under NATO's SEEI and should
continue in the SEECAP follow-up. Participants are firmly
committed to Euro-Atlantic and European integration
and consider their efforts also in support of these
integration processes. The SEECAP confirms the essential
contribution of and requirement for international engagement.
- The Broader Framework. Several documents have established
the fundamental frameworks and principles of cooperation
among countries and are unequivocally pertinent for
the responses to deal with challenges identified in
the SEECAP. These documents differ from one another
in nature, commitment and membership, and include foremost
The principles of the Charter of the United Nations
and the OSCE principles and commitments as set out in
the Helsinki Final Act, the 1999 Istanbul Charter for
European Security; the Charter of Paris, the Helsinki
Document 1992, the Budapest Document 1994, the OSCE
Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security
and the Lisbon Declaration on a Common and Comprehensive
Security Model for Europe for the twenty-first century;
the principles of transparency and predictability in
their actions in the spirit of the Vienna Document 1999
of the Negotiations on Confidence- and Security-Building
Measures; the Bucharest Charter on Good Neighbourly
Relations, Stability, Security and Cooperation in South-Eastern
Europe, SEECP Summit and Ministerial Declarations including
the 2001 Skopje Action Plan for Regional Economic Co-operation;
declarations from the SEDM meetings, 1999 Stability
Pact for Southeastern Europe; and various NATO, EAPC
and PfP documents including the PfP Framework Document,
Basic Document of EAPC and Membership Action Plan.
- Non-Duplication and Complementarity. Regional cooperation
is not an end in itself, but remains an integral element
of the overall efforts to promote security and stability.
Regional cooperation supports the aims and objectives
of the broader European and Euro-Atlantic integration
Regional cooperation to address the challenges identified
in the SEECAP will be followed up to the extent possible
within existing frameworks.
Although avoiding duplication is a key principle, some
useful redundancy can be established or maintained in
order to strengthen the efforts to deal with challenges.
In all cases, complementarity and added value should
be sought among all the various efforts.
- Transparency is essential to promote confidence and
openness. At the same time, transparency is also a means
to improve coordination among various institutions and
efforts. It is also a means to assuring that the ongoing
regional cooperation is an intrinsic part of broader
and Possible Instruments
- Based on the above approach and principles a number
of recommendations and possible instruments could be
Agenda and Broad Approach to Regional Cooperation
- The challenges identified in the SEECAP need priority
attention. Given the interconnected nature of these
challenges, efforts to deal with them need to be active
across the various areas set out in the SEECAP, namely
political, defence-military, economic, social and environmental-civil
- The existing process of meetings among Heads of State
and Government and Foreign Ministers under the SEECP,
and among the Defence Ministers under the SEDM already
provide ample opportunities to pursue efforts to the
extent possible within existing frameworks. The SEECAP
Chair will present the document to the SEECP and SEDM
meetings for possible consideration.
- The Chairman will also present the SEECAP to the SEEGROUP.
- Regular contacts in the fields of economy, trade,
finance, home affairs, justice, transportation, environment,
education and culture, and others are beneficial.
- The results of such contacts in terms of the progress
in addressing particular challenges set out in the SEECAP
could be taken into account during the reviews of the
- In order to mitigate and where possible reverse brain-drain,
co-operation to enhance training and education possibilities
and other programmes and actions such as Centers of
Excellence can be explored.
- The recommendations below aim to contribute particularly
to key requirements set out in the SEECAP, namely the
reform of the entire spectrum of security agencies,
which is an emerging area of activity, and the development
of national security strategies and civilian defence
- Transparency of the Broad Security Sector. In order
to support the ongoing reform processes in the participating
countries to transform the security and defence sectors,
a process can be initiated to establish transparency
and facilitate exchange of experiences. This process
could involve all the relevant Ministries and national
agencies having armed forces, including the Ministries
of Defence, Interior, Customs and others. It could also
develop contacts among these forces, and transparency
measures and data exchanges on structures, jurisdictions
and powers, personnel, equipment, locations and major
activities of these forces.
In order to promote co-operation, predictability and
transparency, it can also explore the appropriate use
of PfP Training Centers and other national training
institutions in the region.
- National Security Strategies. A comparative study
of national security strategies could help improve risk
assessment, defence planning and national security strategy
formulation. The study can also facilitate sharing of
expertise in these areas.
- Civilian Defence and Security Expertise. Competent
cadres of civilian experts in security and defence issues
constitute an essential element of democratic control
of armed forces. Training and education programmes and
exchanges of information and experience, including on
selection mechanisms, could help develop and sustain
the necessary civilian expertise.
- Arms Control. Nations may want to explore possibilities
for enhancing existing bilateral and trilateral arms
control arrangements to benefit the entire region.
- SEECAP will need to be reviewed and updated, once
a year or as necessary, in order to support its living
nature and maintain its relevance to contemporary challenges.
The first review of the document will take place following
one year of its endorsement.
A report will be agreed at the end of each such review.
The report will be presented to the OSCE, SEECP, SEDM,
SEEGROUP, EAPC and the Stability Pact for information.
- The SEECAP will be made available to interested
international organizations and the public.