On March 22, 2019 the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council organised the regional seminar on the architecture of South-East European cooperation in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The event was part of the third pillar priorities of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union – Europe, a global actor – which targets the consolidation of Europe’s global role, including the continuation of the EU enlargement policy in the Western Balkans, for the purpose of ensuring security and stability in the EU neighbourhood.
The participants – representatives of the EU member states, candidate and potential candidate states, as well as representatives of European institutions – debated on the role and contribution of regional cooperation mechanisms in the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Upon the Romanian initiative, a reflection process was launched, at a regional level, for streamlining the regional cooperation processes in South-East Europe, with the purpose of turning them into more efficient tools for sustaining the Western Balkans’ European integration process. Also, the meeting provided the opportunity to exchange views on the EU-Western Balkans relations and the regional states’ path to Europe.
The event was attended by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Crnadak who, while welcoming the initiative of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, underlined the regional cooperation organisations’ contribution to neighbourly relations and regional stability, and presented the priorities of the acting SEECP Presidency, currently held by Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The representative of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred to our country’s active commitment in the region, as a state with a direct interest in the stabilisation and security of Western Balkans, whereas including the enlargement policy on the Romanian Presidency agenda of priorities stands as proof.
He also expressed hope that the progress of the states in the region will give actual results regarding the Western Balkans during Romania’s presidency mandate: “Our objective is that, by the end of Romania’s mandate, based on the individual progress of the states in the region, we could see the launch of a quite ambitious enlargement package, consistent with the priority awarded to the region and the expectations of the citizens of the candidate states”, declared the representative of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also stated that the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council aims to bring back to Europe’s attention, but also at the regional level, a change of concept for regional cooperation, centred on streamlining the regional cooperation mechanisms and increasing their contribution to the European integration process for the Western Balkans.
The event, which was organised on Romania’s initiative, in cooperation with the acting SEECP Presidency held by Bosnia and Herzegovina, took place in the context of the European Union delegation’s visit to Sarajevo (directors for the Balkans in the EU member states, EEAS, COM, EU COUNCIL PRES), on March 20-21, 2019.