Memorandum by the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office on the Stability Pact for South East Europe
1. The Stability Pact was established at
the Cologne European Council in June 1999 in response to the Kosovo
crisis. The Pact is a mechanism for co-ordinating political and
economic reforms and reconstruction in the countries of South
2. The Pact's activities are divided between
three Working Tables, with an over-arching Regional Table to ensure
|Working Table I||Democracy/Human Rights
|Working Table II||Economic/Reconstruction/Development
|Working Table III||Defence/Justice and Home Affairs
3. The Government is fully committed to ensuring the
success of the Pact, and has earmarked £100 million in technical
assistance in the region over the period 2000-2003. The UK also
contributes some 17% of EC aid. Several of the Pact's early wins,
for example the Media Charter and Investment Compact, are as a
result of UK initiatives.
4. The UK has also contributed approximately £70,000
to Stability Pact democracy/human rights projects: OSCE Regional
Association of Election Monitors, Citizens Pact youth network,
MPs network in South East Europe. A further £100,000 is being
considered for a project on democratic control of the military.
Until September 2000 the UK chaired the Media Task Force, which
last June secured the adoption of a Charter for Media Freedom
in the region. Under the UK's chairmanship the Task Force also
processed a number of media projects aimed at facilitating and
sustaining independent media; during 2000 the UK provided some
£ 1.3 million in support for independent media in the FRY.
In October 2000 the chairmanship passed to France.
5. A joint UK/German/Soros Foundation initiative, working
through the Stability Pact, aims to increase and assist NGO participation
in the process of democratic reform. The first meetings between
the Stability Pact and the NGOs were held in June and October
2000. A Declaration on NGO-Government Partnership in SE Europe
was approved at the Pact's Working Table I meeting in Bucharest
in October 2000.
6. The UK and OECD co-chair the Investment Group. Following
the adoption of the Investment Compact in February 2000, work
to develop country road-maps for implementation is now complete.
An Investment Compact meeting in London in July 2000 agreed the
next steps to take the work forward and a review of the Compact's
aims and focus is now nearing completion. Turning the commitments
in the Compact into a reality will be a key to revitalising the
economy of the region. The UK has invested £116,000 in supporting
the work on the Compact.
7. The Department for International Development is contributing
a further £ 1.8 million towards other business and trade
related activities, including support for a Macedonian-led group
working towards trade liberalisation in the region. At a meeting
in Geneva in January 2001, the countries of the region agreed
to aim for signature of trade MoUs by mid-year.
8. A UK proposal for an e-initiative for SE Europe under
the auspices of the Stability Pact was agreed at a Pact meeting
in Istanbul in October 2000. The initiative aims to ensure that
the information revolution is firmly on the agenda as a priority
in all aspects of reconstruction in the region. The UK contributed
to the launch of this initiative through discussion of the Digital
Divide at an FCO conference on SE Europe in July 2000. The FCO
also sponsored a follow-up conference at Wilton Park in October
2000, and the first meeting of a core team of regional "e-Envoys"
took place in London on 11 December. Sweden took over leadership
of the initiative (with Croatia as co-chair) as part of its EU
Presidency in January 2001.
3 (DEFENCE/JHA ISSUES)
9. The UK is providing £40,000 for a project, in
co-operation with Bulgaria, to increase transparency in military
budgeting in the region. A meeting to take this forward will be
held in Vienna on 13-14 March. The UK has also seconded an officer
to the Pact's regional arms control initiative based in Zagreb
and is currently discussing with the FRY authorities secondment
of a Yugoslav army officer to Zagreb, financed by the UK.
10. The UK is supporting the Stability Pact's initiative
on people trafficking by helping to fund the next meeting of the
task force in Skopje in March. The UK is also contributing to
the Pact's asylum and immigration initiative by funding a pilot
project for assisted returns of illegal immigrants stranded in
Croatia and more generally through action with our EU partners
to tackle people smuggling and trafficking in the region. This
initiative includes through the deployment of UK (and other EU
states') immigration experts to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia
and the attachment of immigration liaison officers to embassies
in the region.
11. Following the political changes in the FRY, the Pact
is developing a regional infrastructure strategy. This, together
with a report on implementation of the Quick Start Package, must
be put in place before a further regional funding conference can
be held; this is expected to take place after the FRY donor conference
later this year. Work on the strategy and implementation report
began with a meeting in Rome in January; a progress report is
expected at the next Working Table meetings, provisionally scheduled
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
20 February 2001