“STRENGTHENING SEE SYNERGIES”
Athens SEECP Chairmanship-in-Office 2021-2022

THEMATIC PRIORITIES:

- Enhancement of security cooperation

Security Guard

Security challenges, including organized crime, human trafficking, terrorism, violent extremism require close cooperation between the competent institutions throughout the region, and joint engagement at both stages of prevention and response. Coordinated action in safeguarding security becomes all the more important, as present-day threats, such as cyber crime and fake news dissemination, add up to the existing security challenges.

- Exchange of best practices on functioning democratic institutions, rule of law and human rights, especially in the context of the European prospect of SEE region

Image by Jonas Jacobsson

The promotion of the European prospect of the region has been a high priority of SEECP from day one. After 25 years, despite the changes in both the EU and our region, this perspective is even more relevant, as the EU remains a common reference point for all SEECP participants, in various ways.

It is crucial that the European prospect of the region is not compromised by Euroscepticism, ultranationalism and xenophobia, bringing forward the benefits of the cooperation with each other and
the EU through solidarity and socioeconomic support.

- Connectivity and sustainable development

Image by Shawn Ang

Connectivity is a factor of growth as it enables the exchange of goods, resources and technologies and people-to-people contact, while cultivating and relying on the principles of cooperation and good neighborly relations. As the Region is converging towards European standards and norms enabling connectivity in its various forms accelerates the growth potential.

- Cooperation in the fields of investment, competitiveness and mobility

Image by Austin Distel

Competitiveness, investments and the development of human capital are main parameters of growth that enable job creation, technology dissemination and can support the effort to hinder the outflow of skilled workforce (brain drain), which is a common challenge in SEECP economies. A predictable and stable investment environment and competitiveness achieved by harnessing the benefits of innovation enabled economic recovery is much needed after the disrupting effects of the pandemic. Local synergies among neighboring economies are important factors of regional development.

- Addressing environmental concerns, promotion of sustainable, equitable and green growth

Image by Noah Buscher

Climate change is undeniably a common challenge, as environmental issues are shared and have a spill over effect. Sustainable use of resources, air quality preservation, waste and waste water management, are all current and pressing issues addressed in the process of “green transition” of our economies. Adaptation to climate change is a common goal and sustainable development, is the key principle for closing the gap in economic growth and living standards.

- Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its socioeconomic repercussions

Image by Ashkan Forouzani

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all societies and economies in an unprecedented way, changing our focus and priorities and highlighting the need for enhanced cooperation. A coordinated response is necessary to address the challenges posed by the pandemic, including limiting its spread, safeguarding of public health, accelerating social and economic recovery and ensuring the security of energy and food supply. The implementation of the Green Lanes initiative and the coordination within the framework of the EU Civil Protection mechanism, along with regional initiatives, have proven that regional cooperation is essential not only in facing the pandemic crisis, but also in tackling its crosscuting
and transboundary impact.