East Europe Common Assessment Paper (SEECAP)
The South East Europe Common Assessment
Paper on Regional Security Challenges and Opportunities
was endorsed in Budapest on 29
May 2001 at a ceremony attended by Foreign Ministers.
This note provides some background information on the
document hailed by the Foreign Ministers as a milestone.
- The South East Europe Common Assessment Paper was
one of a set of proposals for activities in support
of the South East Europe Initiative developed by NATO's
Political Military Steering Committee for Partnership
for Peace and approved by the North Atlantic Council.
The package included activities that could be NATO-sponsored
and activities that needed to be supported by the Alliance,
but regionally-led. SEECAP was based on the idea that
common perceptions of the security challenges facing
the region would promote common action to address these
challenges and ultimately lead to security strategies
and defence planning based on these agreed common perceptions.
Romania agreed to be the coordinator and launched the
process in Bucharest in October 2000. The group included
Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania,
Slovenia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
(1), Greece, Hungary,
Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Turkey, United Kingdom
and the United States, Denmark and France. The FRY was
invited to observe, and subsequently requested, and
was accepted, to be a participant. The work was carried
out at NATO headquarters under Romanian Chairmanship
with Dr. Burak Akçapar of NATO providing advice
as Facilitator. Allies have characterised their participation
in various ways, from full participant to observer.
- Working Table III has been kept informed of the SEECAP
project since its Sarajevo meeting. The Chairman of
the Working Table III supported the development of the
SEECAP by contributing to a Seminar held in Istanbul
in April 2001.
SEECAP details the security and risk perceptions of
the regional countries under the headings: the security
environment; political; defence and military; economic;
social and democratic development; and environmental
challenges. The last section is devoted to opportunities
to address these challenges.
- Some key elements of the SEECAP in various chapters
are as follows:
- Reaffirms that SEE countries perceive no direct
threat of military aggression on the part of the others'
national sovereignty, territorial integrity or political
- The future stability and security in SEE will depend
on successful management of inter-ethnic, -religious
and -cultural relations.
- Reform of the entire spectrum of the security sector
is a necessity, including through further adaptation
of military and security strategies and doctrines,
transparency of defence planning and budgeting.
- In the economic field, institutional restructuring
and reform including governmental, industrial, financial
or banking areas is needed.
- As regards democratic development, protecting democratic
gains and sustaining progress in consolidating democracy
and the rule of law is a major challenge.
- In the social area, the radical transformation
of the social system and the consequences of conflicts
and instability of the preceding decade continue to
exert considerable strain.
- Concerning the environment, SEE's valuable environmental
resources face a variety of challenges and have been
degrading over the years, creating a threat to human
safety and damage to the economic value of the valuable
- Organised crime is a cross-cutting challenge bearing
on various areas.
- The document sets out the following main follow-up
- SEECAP will be presented to various regional and
broader fora for consideration, including the Stability
Pact, Southeast Europe Co-operation Process, Southeast
Europe Defence Ministerials, and others;
- A study is envisaged regarding national security
strategies and how they compare to SEECAP;
- As a first step toward reform of various security
agencies, transparency and contacts is recommended;
- SEECAP will be periodically reviewed and updated.
recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional