Updated: 10-May-2002 NATO Information

7 Dec. 2001

Chairman's Progress Report
of the Work in the Second Half of 2001

South East Europe Security Cooperation Steering Group

Following its bi-annual senior level meeting in Zagreb on 11 June 2001, the SEEGROUP continued its work in Brussels. At the 28 June 2001 meeting it was decided that Croatia continue its chairmanship until 31 December 2001, completing thus a one year cycle. It was also decided that all future chairmanships last one year, as this would benefit the continuity of work. Romania shall assume chairmanship in 2002.

Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1), Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia continued their participation in the SEEGROUP. Equally active participation of regional countries, non-regional PfP Partner countries as well as NATO Allies ensured strong support and wide basis for the SEEGROUP's work.

Representatives of the Stability Pact for South East Europe, Mr. Henderson and Mr. Ergen, continued to regularly attend the meetings, providing a vital link to the practical and project-oriented regional co-operation in the area of security and defense.

Support and facilitation of the NATO International Staff representatives remained pivotal for the work of the SEEGROUP and its interaction with the Alliance. Particularly valuable was the facilitation by the Defense Planning and Operations Division (DPAO) representative, Mr. Burak Akcapar, as well as the input by the Political Affairs Division (PA) representative, Mr. Fred C. Parker. Equally important was the expertise shared by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) Co-ordinator, Mr. Evert Somer.

Additionally, after several months, a SHAPE representative resumed attendance at the meetings, further strenghtening this interaction.

Major Activities

Alongside previously initiated activities, in line with its Action Plan, the SEEGROUP several new ones, as a follow up to the SEECAP document, agreed by the foreign ministers of the SEECAP participating countries at their meeting in Budapest on 29 May 2001. The scope of these and other activities required intensified efforts, so the SEEGROUP increased the dynamics of its work from monthly to weekly meetings. This practice proved extremely useful and should be continued in the future.

A senior level meeting of the SEEGROUP, traditionally convened a day before the Stability Pact III Working Table on Security Issues meeting, was held on 26 November 2001 in Budapest. The meeting took stock of the activities in the second half of 2001 and discussed the Action Plan for 2002. Particularly valuable was the discussion on the lessons-learned in the South East Europe regional co-operation process embodied in SEEI, SEEGROUP and SEECAP, as well as on possible sharing of experience with countries from other regions.


As the first follow up activity to the SEECAP, and in line with the SEEI recommendation from the PMSC report, the SEEGROUP agreed on the "Framework Guidelines for the Exchange of Border Security Personnel in South East Europe" (SEESTAFF). In it, the SEEGROUP participating countries have agreed, as a matter of priority, to begin the exchange of liaison officials at border crossings and in headquarters, as well as to consider other forms of border security personnel exchanges. Furthermore, exchanges of other personnel, inter alia among Foreign and Defense Ministries, are also envisaged.

The modalities for the abovementioned exchanges will be developed among the SEEGROUP countries bilaterally and/or in the future SEEGROUP meetings, and the SEEGROUP will follow the implementation. Additionally, and in order to benefit from the training and education capabilities in the PfP framework, the PfP Training Centers are encouraged to develop a basic training curriculum for the exchange of personnel.

The SEESTAFF reflects the need to counter the threats to security and stability in South East Europe generated by organized crime, terrorism and illegal immigration, as well as trafficking of human beings, arms, narcotics and other illicit materials. Improvement of border security in a co-operative and co-ordinated manner is perceived as one of the essential elements in the fight against those non-conventional threats.


The SEEGROUP participating countries initiated a South East Europe Comparative Study of National Security Strategies (SEESTUDY). This study, a concrete follow up of SEECAP, is envisaged to review and recommend improvement of the countries' capabilities for risk assessment, early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, defense and civil emergency planning, as well as national security strategy formulation and implementation.

The SEESTUDY should additionally identify areas in which countries have developed particularly strong capacities or expertise, which could than be shared in order to enhance overall regional and trans-regional security and stability.

The Pilot Paper, defining the requirements for the SEESTUDY, has been agreed by the SEEGROUP, together with a concept for a Scoping Study. The Scoping Study, the aim of which is to further define the needs and modalities for conducting the SEESTUDY, should begin in January 2002 and last approximately three weeks. It should be followed by the SEESTUDY itself, which should be completed, ideally, by the end of June 2002. The SEESTUDY should result in country-specific recommendations on how to improve and update their respective national security strategies and documents, as well as for reforms in the security sector field.

It was recommended that an independent and well-respected institution with expertise in this field should have the leading role in the development of the SEESTUDY, with the support of the participating countries. The United Kingdom offered to fund the Scoping Study and identified a British-based institute (RUSI) that is interested in conducting the SEESTUDY.

Participation in the SEESTUDY is on voluntary basis and not directly connected to participation in the SEEGROUP. Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania have already expressed their willingness to participate in the SEESTUDY.

Building on the synergy achieved with the Stability Pact, the SEESTUDY was included into the Report of the Stability Pact Ad Hoc Working Group on Security Sector Reform as a priority and the donour countries have been lobbied on that basis.

Open Area Fire Fighting Exercise "Taming the Dragon - Daim atia 2002"

Preparations continued for the Open Area Fire Fighting Exercise "Taming the Dragon - Dalmatia 2002" to be hosted in Croatia in May 2002. This exercise was proposed by Croatia as early as 2000 in the framework of the Stability Pact Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Initiative (DPPI) and was subsequently included in the NATO/PfP Partnership Work Programme. The EADRCC and the Ministry of Interior of Croatia have been active in the planning and preparation of the exercise, with the SEEGROUP and Stability Pact providing close co-operation and support.

The Initial Planning Conference was held in Valbandon, Croatia, from 2 to 4 October 2001, where the framework for exercise was agreed. The sixteen participating countries agreed that the main purpose of the exercise should be to test communication and co-ordination in international co-operation. The exercise, which is based on combating forest fires, one of the major disaster risks in Croatia, would include fire fighting, mountain rescue, search and rescue, water rescue, medical care, handling of hazardous materials, evacuation and public information.

The Main Planning Conference will be held from 29 to 31 January 2002 in Split, Croatia, in the vicinity of the exercise site Basko Polje.

Fight against terrorism

On 30 November, the SEEGROUP held a special meeting dedicated to the fight against terrorism, an issue of particular importance after the tragic and outrageous terrorist attacks on the United States of America on 11 September 2001. At this meeting, Romania, the initiator of the meeting, introduced a project aimed at creating a Compendium of Anti-Terrorism Measures in South East Europe. The aim of the project is to achieve a basis for possible future co-ordinated action in this field, with all interested actors.

The Compendium is an open-ended document to which all SEEGROUP participating countries and international agencies are invited to contribute with their specific input.

Way Ahead

In its last meeting in 2001, the SEEGROUP agreed the Action Plan for 2002, which is attached to this report.

The Action Plan is defined by the determination of the SEEGROUP participating countries that the SEEGROUP should remain the main forum which will develop and implement activities recommended by the EAPC, through the PMSC, in the framework of the SEEL It also takes into account the need to follow-up on the SEECAP recommendations.

The SEEGROUP will engage in three types of the activities. It will continue to follow up on the activities in which it had a leading, supporting or otherwise substantial role; it will strive to develop new instruments and measures for enhancing regional security; and it will continue its steering, co-ordination, clearing-house and information exchange activities.

Particular emphasis will be given to the issues of security sector reform; exchange of political-military and other early warning, conflict prevention and crisis management information; strengthening of public visibility of the SEEGROUP work; and sharing of experience with countries from other regions.

In that regard, Romania has submitted a concept paper for its chairmanship in 2002.

  1. Action Plan for 2002
  3. SEESTUDY & Annex: Concept for Scoping Study
  4. Concept paper on Romania's SEEGROUP Chairmanship in 2002
  1. Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia and Turkey recognize the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

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