“A SEE of Culture, a SEE of Cooperation”
Podgorica SEECP Chairmanship-in-Office 2022-2023

ON 1 JULY 2022 PODGORICA TOOK OVER THE ONE-YEAR SEECP CHAIRMANSHIP-IN-OFFICE. THE MOTTO OF PODGORICA CIO: A SEE OF CULTURE, A SEE OF COOPERATION, EMPHASISES NUMEROUS CULTURAL TIES THAT BIND THE ECONOMIES OF THE REGION AND REPRESENT A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR FURTHER ENHANCEMENT OF COOPERATION AND PARTNERSHIPS. MONTENEGRO BECAME A PARTICIPANT OF THE INITIATIVE ON 11 MAY 2007. PREVIOUSLY, MONTENEGRO CHAIRED SEECP FROM JUNE 2010 TO JUNE 2011.

THEMATIC PRIORITIES:

- Strengthening security cooperation

Security Guard

Strengthening security cooperation with focus on the fight against corruption and organised crime, including fight against trafficking in human beings, in particular in the context of new threats related to the war in Ukraine.

- Protection of human rights

Image by Mikhail Pavstyuk

Protection of human rights with a focus on a) position of women and achieving gender equality through fighting gender-based violence and femicide, access to justice for women and girls, women economic empowerment and increasing women engagement in public and political life, and b) protection of rights and improvement of position of LGBTIQ persons, Roma and Egyptians, and other vulnerable groups.

- Rule of law and strengthening of democratic institutions

Judge and Gavel

Rule of law and strengthening of democratic institutions through: a) strengthening independence of institutions and human resources, the principle of accountability, professionalism and meritocracy in public administration, and b) protection and strengthening of media freedoms and independence, and close cooperation of institutions and civil society organisations.

- Enhancement of economic cooperation and infrastructural connectivity

Image by Marc-Olivier Jodoin

Enhancement of economic cooperation and infrastructural connectivity and integration with regional and EU markets through early integration measures, development of Common Regional Market (CRM), fostering competitiveness and inclusive growth, strengthening trade, preventing disruptions in supply chains and provision of energy security through diversification and investment in new and sustainable sources.

- Green transition

Image by Arnaud Mesureur

Green transition, with particular focus on the issues of waste management, water and air quality, sustainable development, sustainable and accountable use of natural resources and environmental protection, and raising awareness of youth of these issues through educational systems and curricula.

- Further mitigation and overcoming health, economic and other consequences of COVID-19 pandemic

Image by Noah Buscher

Further mitigation and overcoming health, economic and other consequences of COVID-19 pandemic, including development of measures to respond to potential new infection waves and virus variants, and identification of mechanisms and strategies for development of stronger resilience and more efficient response of region’s economies to future health crises.

- EU integration of aspirant economies from South East Europe

Image by Sigmund

EU integration of aspirant economies from South East Europe: though all the aforementioned priorities refer to the most important issues on Montenegro’s, and other SEE  aspirants’ EU agenda, EU integration has been singled out as a priority in itself having in mind the importance of support provided by EU Member States SEECP Participants, in particular regarding sharing best practices and experiences in EU integration related reform processes. The geographical area we share and joint challenges we face make South East Europe EU Member States important promoters of our EU perspective, which continuously demonstrate understanding and sensibility for the need to soon complete the united Europe project by membership of aspirants from our region. On the other hand, when this is not the case, SEECP is a regional forum best suited to find solutions to outstanding issues in the region through dialogue. Therefore, mechanisms of reaching agreements through SEECP format will be promoted during Montenegro’s CiO and we will work on encouraging SEECP participants which are EU MS not to reach for blocking the EU path of EU aspirants from the region in case of outstanding bilateral issues, before exhausting all other available mechanisms for resolving interstate disputes.