(July- December 2016)

 1. Objectives of the Serbian Chairmanship-in-Office

As a Chairmanship-in-Office of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC), the Republic of Serbia will aim to achieve goals that would contribute to the improvement of economic cooperation between countries of the Black Sea region in the areas of mutual interest. By doing that, the Serbian chairmanship will endeavor to follow-up activities and projects of previous chairmanships, namely Russian and Romanian. Serbia will, also, support all the activities on the preparation of marking the 25th anniversary of BSEC that will be discussed at informal and regular meetings of the Committee of Senior Officials.

In this regard, the main priorities of Serbian Chairmanship-in-Office are:

Development of economic cooperation.

The Republic of Serbia considers the improvement of the economic cooperation as a core issue of the BSEC activities. In this context, Serbia will continue to work on the implementation of the BSEC Economic Agenda, as the most important document, and guidance in this area.

Based on this perception, Serbia will particularly be focused on the outcomes of the working groups meetings that should have a practical input in contributing to the sustainable development and comprehensive economic cooperation between the member states. The visible results of these meetings in the economic cooperation area should be a priority for all member states, and Serbia, as the current CiO, will support this approach.  

Recognizing the importance of the above said Serbia will, also, encourage member states to actively participate at the 11th International Energy Fair, 12th International Environmental and Natural Resources Protection Fair and 10th Ethnic Food and Beverage Fair that will take place in Belgrade. Serbia will remain active in its efforts to strengthen cooperation inside the BSEC Business Council.
During its Chairmanship, Serbia will be open to all ideas presented by the member states, for their consideration and discussion that could further facilitate economic cooperation between Black Sea region countries.

Cooperation in the area of transport.

The Republic of Serbia has particular interest in the area of transport, since we consider it to be one of the most important areas of cooperation, due to the obvious common interest. In order to provide further enhancement of the cooperation in the field of transport, Serbia will organize the Meeting of Ministers of BSEC Member States in Charge of Transport.

Serbia will, also, encourage initiatives for projects similar to the Project of BSEC PERMIT System. Serbia will continue to support the ongoing work on the implementation of the Black Sea Ring Highway and Motorways of the Sea Projects.

Transport in the Black Sea region, no doubt, presents the “bloodstream” of the economic cooperation, and improving its system would reflect positively on the economies of the member states.

Cooperation with regional and international organizations.

Serbia considers the cooperation of the BSEC with other regional and international organizations vitally important, as it provides to the visibility of the Organization. Thus, Serbia will endeavor to promote enhancement of cooperation between BSEC and other international organizations through joint projects, MoUs and other appropriate means of cooperation. Alongside with that, Serbia will coordinate and encourage the work on implementation of the already signed MoUs. Serbia will, also, coordinate the drafting of the biennial Resolution of the UN General Assembly on cooperation between BSEC and UN, to be adopted during the 71. Session of UN GA. Being a candidate country for EU membership, Serbia will promote activities for enhancement of BSEC - EU interaction.

Serbia will continue to promote active involvement of BSEC observers and sectoral dialogue partners in addressing issues of regional cooperation. 

Activities of the BSEC subsidiary bodies will also be in focus of the Serbian Chairmanship. Last month Serbia took over the Chairmanship in Office of the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly (PABSEC), which should additionally contribute to the overall coordination and realization of activities during the Serbian chairmanship.

Strengthening of the Organization.

Serbia will continue to contribute to the activities aimed in enhancing BSEC’s project capacities. The Chairmanship will encourage all initiatives leading towards project orientation of BSEC. Serbia will, also, support recommendations to improving the efficiency of the BSEC activities, including existing mechanisms for generating the financial and other resources needed for the preparation and implementation of projects.

The reform of BSEC will be discussed at the meetings of the Committee of Senior Officials. Serbia will remain focused on the ideas and suggestions of the previous chairmanships, while trying to find mutually acceptable solutions. Attention will be given to addressing organizational and budgetary issues as well as identifying solutions to the said issues that have been impeding the work of the Organization.

2. Other areas of work

Along the above mentioned priorities, attention will also be given to the other areas of work of BSEC, such as the issues related to cooperation within the fields of energy, tourism, education, science and technology, culture, environmental protection, combating crime, emergency assistance, SMEs, customs and healthcare and pharmaceuticals which Serbia considers directly interconnected and significantly important for the economic development of all BSEC member states.

The interrelated nature of all the questions within the Organization’s purview indicates that all should have equal attention and maintain the comprehensive approach of the Organization. 

Serbia remains open for new ideas and encourages suggestions by the member states, observers, sectorial dialogue partners as well as BSEC subsidiary bodies on models of further enhancing cooperation in the Black Sea region in areas of the BSEC domain. 

Serbia intends to invest efforts during its term of Chairmanship-in-Office aimed to enhance the visibility of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization as an important international organization in the wider region, and by doing so, contribute to the wellbeing of all its member states.

Links to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of  Serbia: