South-East European Cooperation Process

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South-East European Cooperation Process
Logo of the Regional Cooperation Council of South-East European Cooperation Process
Logo of the Regional Cooperation Council
HeadquartersSarajevo (RCC)
Sofia (SEECP PA)
TypeIntergovernmental organization
Membership Albania
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
 North Macedonia
• Chairmanship-in-Office
 North Macedonia
• Secretary General of the RCC
Majlinda Bregu
• President of the SEECP PA
Constantine Tassoulas
• SEECP Established
• RCC established

The South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) was launched on Bulgaria's initiative in 1996. At the Bulgaria-chaired meeting in Sofia, the Southeast Europe (SEE) countries laid the foundations for regional co-operation for the purposes of creating an atmosphere of trust, good neighbourly relations and stability.

A special characteristic of SEECP is that it is an original form of co-operation among the countries in the region launched on their own initiative, and not on the initiative of some other international organisation or countries. In that regard, the SEECP seeks to define itself as an authentic voice of SEE, complementary to the Stability Pact, Southeast European Cooperative Initiative or the Stabilisation and Association Process.

The basic goals of regional co-operation within SEECP include the strengthening of security and the political situation, intensification of economic relations and co-operation in the areas of human resources, democracy, justice, and battle against illegal activities. It is the intention of the SEECP to enable its members to approach the European and Euro-Atlantic structures through the strengthening of good neighbourly relations and transformation of the region into an area of peace and stability.


Southeast European leaders pose for a family photo during the SEECP Summit in Istanbul, Turkey


The SEECP is a regional non-institutionalised process co-ordinated by the presiding country. The SEECP presidency lasts for one year and is rotated among the members. The presiding country presents the Process at international meetings and hosts the annual meeting of heads of state and government, foreign ministers meeting and a number of annual meetings of political directors. Depending on the situation, the presiding country may call extraordinary meetings. Representatives of the current, past, and future SEECP Chair-in-Office form a Troika to ensure the continuity of activities.[1]

Regional Cooperation Council[edit]

The Regional Cooperation Council was established at a 2008 meeting of foreign affairs ministers from the SEECP. The organization was founded by SEECP participants and is funded in part by the European Union to further promote European integration and cooperation. The RCC is led by a Secretary-General, currently Majlinda Bregu and consists of 46 participants. Participants are made up of the SEECP countries, along with other countries and supranational organizations who are interested in the stability and development of the region.[2] A major project of the RCC is the development of the Regional Economic Area (REA), to better integrate South East European economies. The status of the REA has been uncertain with competing integration projects like the 2019 Open Balkan initiative.[3] However on 2 July 2023, Albanian prime minister Edi Rama stated the Open Balkans project is over and the countries will revert back to the Berlin Process.[4]


Presiding country is changed each year on 1 July:

  • 1996–97, Bulgaria
  • 1997–98, Greece
  • 1998–99, Turkey
  • 1999–2000, Romania
  • 2000–01, North Macedonia
  • 2001–02, Albania
  • 2002–03, Serbia and Montenegro
  • 2003–04, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • April 2004 – May 2005, Romania[5]
  • May 2005 – May 2006, Greece[6]
  • May 2006 – May 2007, Croatia[7]
  • May 2007 – May 2008, Bulgaria
  • 2008–09, Moldova
  • 2009–10, Turkey[8]
  • 2010–11, Montenegro
  • 2011–12, Serbia
  • 2012–13, North Macedonia[9]
  • 2013–14, Romania
  • 2014–15, Albania[10]
  • 2015–16, Bulgaria
  • 2016–17, Croatia
  • 2017–18, Slovenia[11]
  • 2018–19, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 2019–20, Kosovo
  • 2020–21, Turkey[12]
  • 2021–22, Greece[13]
  • 2022–23, Montenegro[14]
  • 2023–24, North Macedonia

Meetings held[edit]

Heads of state and government meetings
Foreign ministers meetings

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "About Us". Regional Cooperation Council. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  3. ^ Maksimović, Sandra (6 March 2020). "What happened to the "mini-Schengen"?". European Western Balkans. Centre for Contemporary Politics. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  4. ^ Taylor, Alice. "Rama: Open Balkan fulfilled its mission, time to focus on Berlin Process". Euractiv. Retrieved 3 July 2023.
  5. ^ "România deţine Preşedinţia-în-Exerciţiu a SEECP 2013-2014 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs".
  6. ^ "__/ Hellenic Republic - Ministry of Foreign Affairs \__". Archived from the original on 2006-03-07.
  7. ^ "Croatia Summit 2006". Archived from the original on 2007-01-05. Retrieved 2007-01-05.
  8. ^ "The Turkish Chairmanship to the SEECP". Archived from the original on 2010-08-14. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
  9. ^ "UN General Assembly General Debate of the 67th Session - The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". 26 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  10. ^ "Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs".
  11. ^ "STA: Slovenia to preside over SEECP in 2017".
  12. ^ "CiO 2020-2021".
  13. ^ "CiO 2021-2022".

External links[edit]