ATHENS, MARCH 17, 2006






We, the Presidents of the Parliaments of the countries participating in the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP),


- Recalling the conclusions of the previous Conferences of the Presidents of the Parliaments of South Eastern Europe and the provisions of the Charter on good neighbourly relations, stability, security and cooperation in SE Europe,

- Being aware of the function of the National Parliaments as the most genuine speakers of the common will of the peoples of the region, as well as of their increased responsibility towards the realisation of these peoples’ aspirations,

- Having emphasised our commitments to the values of good neighbourly relations, democratisation, the establishment of rule of law, the respect for human rights and especially those aiming at the creation of multicultural societies without exclusions,

- Sharing the European values, feeling members of the common European family of peoples and willing to achieve the goal of integrating the countries of SE Europe into the European Union,

- Welcoming the important progress achieved by the countries of the region in their paths towards the common goal of further European integration,

- Reiterating that the SEECP is the only genuine regional institution of SE Europe, which in the past ten years after its first meeting in Sofia has gained valuable experience and reaffirming the need to promote regional ownership and cooperation,



1.       Reaffirm the need for the establishment of peace and stability in the region, respecting the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and no change of borders by force in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter, the Helsinki Declaration and International Law,

2.       Declare our intentions to continue in the effort to make the Parliaments the centers of democratic decision-making process and to enhance the cooperation among the National Parliaments of the countries of the region, by examining also ways of institutionalizing this cooperation. In this context, we agree that Conferences of Presidents of Parliaments of the SEECP be convened by the respective Presidencies on an annual basis,

3.       Encourage further development of the economic cooperation among the countries of the region, as a means to establish mutually profitable ties that will also benefit the region as a whole,

4.       Stress the need for the development of infrastructure, more particularly in the fields of energy and transport, with emphasis in the aims of the recently founded in Athens Energy Community of SE Europe and the fast and successful building of the planned European Corridors,

5.       Reiterate strong support for expanding the regional cultural interaction/cooperation among our countries and their relevant authorities and especially encourage exchanges in the fields of culture, education and research, in particular among young people,

6.       Condemn any act of terrorism, violence, intolerance, militant extremism and ethnic exclusion,

7.       Express the determination to fight terrorism, organised crime, illegal migration and illicit trafficking, as well as to enhance ways of regional cooperation in the abovementioned fields,

8.       Note that the settlement of the future status of Kosovo and the strengthening of a democratic and multiethnic society therein can only be achieved through dialogue and compromise under the auspices of the United Nations. Having in mind the UNSC Resolution 1244 and the decision of the SG of the U.N. on opening negotiations on the future status of Kosovo, led by Mr. Ahtisaari, we especially support the implementation of the recommendations made by UNSG Special Representative Mr. Kai Eide, also supported by the Contact Group and UNSC including standards implementation. We welcome the activity displayed by the UNSG Special Envoy concerning the status, and the willingness expressed by both Belgrade and Pristina to talk, and find a stable settlement to the status of Kosovo, promoting the creation of a democratic and multiethnic society, good neighbourly relations and safeguarding stability and security in the region,

9.       Reaffirm the need to find sustainable solutions for the return of the refugees and the internally displaced persons, as a prerequisite for the creation of multiethnic and multicultural societies and for the elimination of interethnic hatred,

10.   Note with optimism the opportunity presented, following the Conclusions of the Thessaloniki 2003 Summit, to all the countries in the region to participate more closely in the European structures through the process of Stabilisation and Association Agreements and welcome with satisfaction the progress each country has made in its respective approach to the EU by advancement in meeting accession criteria that enabled the countries either to start the accession negotiations, become a candidate country, and accomplish or start the SAA negotiations,

11.   Stress that keeping up clear and unequivocal policy of the EU institutions on further enlargement and prospects of full membership in the EU for all the countries of SE Europe is indispensable for encouragement and motivation of all factors in those countries in moving their EU-oriented reform agendas forward,

12.   Hope to see further progress in the implementation of issues discussed in the European Commission’s Communication ´The Western Balkans on the road to the EU: consolidating stability and raising prosperity´, in the context of the full implementation of the Thessaloniki Agenda and welcome the strong commitment and involvement of the European Parliament in this process,

13.   Welcome the European integration incentives provided by the Austrian Presidency of the EU and in particular the EU-Western Balkans forum held in Salzburg on 10-11 March 2006,

14.   Are aware of the significant role played by the National Parliaments in defending democracy and human rights as well as in the speeding up of the process of European integration, in particular through the adoption of the necessary reforms implementing the provisions of the acquis communautaire into national legislation,

15.   In this respect, call the governments and Members of the National Parliament to mobilise the public awareness of issues relating to European integration and to facilitate the measures leading to it,

16.   As participants of SEECP, which remains the only genuine and autochthonous regional institution, we reaffirm our determination to enhance cooperation with other institutions of regional cooperation both from SE Europe and from the geographically adjacent regions,

17.   Finally, having in mind the strong will of the SEECP countries for european integration, we encourage the further development of productive ties among National Parliaments and the European Parliament.