OF THE CHAIRMANSHIP-IN-OFFICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION ORGANIZATION
(1 January – 30 June 2023)
During its Chairmanship-in-Office (1 January – 30 June 2023) Serbia is going to focus on achievable, practical and visible priorities contributing to the sustainable development of the wider Black Sea Region, as we did in the previous Chairmanships when Serbia actively contributed to the adoption of several BSEC strategic documents and projects, including the "Economic Agenda".
Serbia will orient its work towards finding all-inclusive solutions for the current wide challenges that BSEC member states are facing.
Efficiency and effectiveness of the Organization
Ten years have passed since the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation adopted “THE BSEC ECONOMIC AGENDA - Towards an Enhanced BSEC Partnership” in 2012, as a form of short and medium-term strategy. In view of the new challenges at both regional and global level, adjusting it to new realities is now more than ever needed.
The principal responsibility of each of our governments and of all of us collectively is to promote economic, social and environmental cooperation among the BSEC Member States for the sake of our citizens. Therefore, one of the priorities of the Serbian Chairmanship-in-office would be to proceed with the work already done towards strengthening our organization. To this effect work should be continued for further updating our short- and medium-term strategy so as to be in line with political and economic developments in the global and regional environment.
In that regard, improving the effectiveness of the work of the BSEC would be essential for the future of our Organization. Resuming the practice of regular meetings of the BSEC Business Council as an incentive for new regional initiatives and a promoter of greater involvement of the business community in BSEC activities, should also be considered in this context.
Making more use of the BSEC Troika mechanism and of informal consultations, prior to formal meetings of the Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of the Committee of Senior Officials should be considered as well. Developing multi-annual plans of action that reflect priorities of the updated BSEC Economic Agenda and transforming these objectives into relevant, attainable and time tabled results and activities, is also important. Both Troika mechanism and multi-annual planning supposed to guaranty continuity of Organization’s work.
Consolidation of the PERMIS’s budget by allocating appropriate financial resources in the annual budgets for project development is critical for the effectiveness of the Organization. Finding ways to encourage more active involvement and contributions from Observers and Sectoral Dialogue Partners to the activities of the Organization should be further encouraged.
Information and Communication Technologies - ICT
In view of the numerous challenges that affected recent years economic development in the BSEC region the Government of the Republic of Serbia as BSEC CiO ranks ICT development among its highest priorities in the BSEC agenda. Bearing in mind that new technologies are present in all spheres of life, we believe that this topic should be considered in a multidimensional and crosscutting fashion in our future work. In this respect, ICT connectivity and related issues will be high on our agenda and will be raised not only in the framework of the Information and Communication Technologies Working Group, but also in the context of working groups on Institutional Renewal and Good Governance, Cooperation in Science and Technology, Healthcare and Pharmaceutics and Education.
Special attention will therefore be attached to the following topics:
- development of joint projects for improvement and growth on Information and Communication Technologies tools and applications,
- support of efforts by the BSEC Member States to establish and develop relevant Information and Communication Technologies infrastructure with a view to address regional connectivity challenges and promote viable projects in this sector having reginal impact,
- encouraging cooperation among the BSEC Member States and with the relevant international organizations with regard to developing communication technologies in the postal service and introducing advanced postal processing, modernization and automation of procedures,
- promoting cooperation among the Information and Communication Technology companies, techno parks and incubators of the BSEC Member States,
- exchanging ideas, experience and information on new trends in the information technology sector such as digital transformation, artificial intelligence (AI), e-Government, robotics etc.,
- exchanging best practices on long-standing relevant issues, such as women in ICT, child online protection, bridging the digital divide, and high-speed connectivity in remote and sparsely populated areas, as well as on how communication and digital technologies can maximize their impact for policy responses due to the Covid-19 pandemic,
- mutual recognition of electronic signature certificates.
Facilitating bilateral, regional and sub regional dialogue
With a view of promoting mutually beneficial and good neighborly relations between Member States and facilitate dialogue, we invite all to share their best practices and experiences. During the Chairmanship-in office, our intention is to present our experiences, especially in the field of economic cooperation that we are developing with our neighbors from the Western Balkan, like for example the Open Balkan project between Serbia, Albania and Republic of North Macedonia, three BSEC Member States.