Friday 19 October 2007 at 20:30 CET on Europe by Satellite

Interview with Hido Biscevic, Secretary General of Regional Co-operation Council for South Eastern Europe

FULL TRANSCRIPT AND SHOT LIST

00:00 Cutaways of Hido Biscevic in the European Parliament

00:31 Interview

First of all the Regional Cooperation Council is going to be predominantly a project oriented institution. Secondly we are going to work along the mandate and the agenda to be set by the summit meetings of the member countries of the South east Europe cooperation process. Even at the Zagreb summit where the whole process was launched, and it was listed in the declaration, that the focus of the RCC will have to be social and economic cooperation, energy and infrastructure, justice and home affairs, security and human capital. These are the five segments, even structures in the organization scheme of the RCC. These are the five segments, let’s say ministries, in the RCC. These are the priorities. But given the overall social and political setting, the intention is to try to move forward the projects, initiatives, that will have immediate effect on the ground, so that the local communities will have immediate recognition that there is something new going on. Of course we will participate in the global, regional infrastructure, energy project and so forth but we also want to divide rapid result projects in the education field, kindergarten, social infrastructure so that people on the local communities recognize that there is something new going on.

02:13

Let me be very frank and direct, the RCC is not a forum to deal with immediate issues like Kosovo or Bosnian constitution and so forth, we are here to create, assist the creation of a conducive atmosphere of solidarity in order for these issues to be resolved for the benefit of people in Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia

We are here to try to look around the corner and not deal with immediate political issues, that is the issue of the UN, EU and so forth. But we must be immediately aware that the way these issues will be dealt with by the international community will have effect on the atmosphere in the region and indirectly it will have effect on operability and atmosphere on which we’re working. That’s why I’m stressing that the RCC will have to have a balanced approach and promote solidarity as an element of cooperation.

03:25

Kosovo through UNMIK is already engaged in the Stability Pact with the consent of all members participating and the engagement of all players in the region and in particular the engagement of Serbia in the regional cooperation is of essential interest for the region and Serbia. Nobody is shying away, nobody’s isolation will be benefit for the region.

04:05

When SEE countries decided to set the seat of this new institution in Sarajevo they deliberately sensed a political message. Placing the seat of RCC is a political decision and I should hope that given the recent in BiH, developments in the nineties, even the internal relations between the three sides in BiH, I hope that being there will have a positive effect on the internal political and constitutional debate in BiH but we are not going to deal with these issues immediately.