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Central and Eastern Europe

Meeting of the Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, Ljubljana, Slovenia

12-13 July 2002

The SI Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, SICEE, met in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 12-13 July, focusing discussions on peace and stability in the Balkans and the enlargement process of the European Union.

The meeting, which included the participation of SI member parties and guests from the region and other delegates, opened with contributions from Luis Ayala, Secretary General of the International; Borut Pahor, President of the host party, the United List of Social Democrats, ZLSD; László Kovács, leader of the Hungarian Socialist Party, MSzP, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Co-Chair of the Committee; and Piero Fassino, leader of the Democrats of the Left, DS, Italy, and Co-Chair of the Committee. (Full list of participants)

A declaration reflecting the discussions on the main themes was adopted. The Committee welcomed the progress achieved in favour of peace and stability in South-East Europe, and called for further cooperation between the countries in the region, neighbouring candidate countries to the European Union and EU member states. Reviewing the cases of Serbia and Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SICEE underlined the importance of the economic, political and military commitments of the international community in the region, and called on all SI member parties to support the social democratic political forces and initiatives to strengthen democracy there.

Considering the enlargement of the European Union as "a decisive and strategic choice for the future of the European continent" and "an historic opportunity to achieve a united Europe", the Committee recognised the commitment and determination of the candidate countries and expressed its hope that negotiations will be finalised with applicant countries under the current Danish presidency, so accession of new members can commence as from 2004. It called on all European governments and parliaments to speed up the process of ratification of the signed accords and urged the EU to prepare in advance the necessary financial resources to foster better integration of all candidate countries. (Full text of the declaration)

The Committee also reviewed the political situation in countries in the region and welcomed the successes achieved by socialist and social democratic parties in the most recent elections in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.


The Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, SICEE, meeting on 12-13 July 2002 in Ljubljana,

1. Reiterates the firm commitment and will, affirmed at the last SI Congress, to make liberty, democracy, justice and solidarity the principles with which to face the challenges of globalisation.

2. Welcoming with satisfaction the progress achieved in the process of peace and stabilisation in the Balkans, the Committee:

urges the enhanced regional cooperation between the countries in the region on the one hand, and with neighbouring candidate countries as well as member states of the EU on the other, by using all available means to accelerate the Stabilisation and Association process;

supports the important progress reached by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in its path towards democracy and calls on the international community to increase investment and economic help which are essential for the construction of a market economy able to promote social development with justice and economic growth;

reaffirms the importance of support for all activities which contribute to the strengthening of democratic institutions in Serbia and Montenegro;

welcomes with great satisfaction the current talks between the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, to renew the foundations of the Serbia and Montenegro State Union;

welcomes with great satisfaction the opening of dialogue between the Serbian government and the authorities of Vojvodina and other regions to achieve the decentralisation and regionalisation of Serbia;

calls on all interested parties to implement without delay the accords signed in Macedonia and asks all the parties involved to implement the necessary measures to carry out free and fair parliamentary elections;

calls on The Hague Tribunal to pursue and punish all war criminals, and to render justice to all victims, and welcomes the fact that the trial against Milosevic has begun;

expresses satisfaction at the carrying out of elections in Kosovo and encourages the parties involved and the international community to implement the measures necessary to ensure a respect for the rights, dignity and security of each community in Kosovo;

fully supports the progress underway in Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding the implementation of the Dayton Accords and the building of democratic institutions with a partnership between the Bosnian and Herzegovinian authorities and the international community;

calls on the international community to remain committed to its involvement in the peace-keeping mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, promoting a safe environment and encouraging the ongoing democratic process;

affirms that to guarantee peace and stability in the region, it is necessary to ensure in each country the legal equality of all citizens, women and men, whatever their ethnic origin, and respecting their cultural and religious characteristics;

reaffirms the need to regulate immigration, respecting the right to free circulation, and to combat illegal trafficking and all forms of crimes in order to ensure security, stability and growth;

urges the international community to endow the Stability Pact with the necessary financial resources and instruments to accelerate the process of stabilisation of the region;

invites the international institutions to support and encourage the return home of refugees and displaced persons of different countries;

underlines that the economic, political and military commitment of the international community in the region is essential and welcomes the fact that the European Union will assume responsibility for the international police force in Bosnia and Herzegovina and has expressed its willingness to take over the peace-keeping role in Macedonia;

calls on the EU, following the Zagreb Summit in November 2000, to strengthen its relations with the countries of the region and begin turning the prospect of accession into reality and welcomes the progress made by these countries with regard to the Stabilisation and Association Process;

calls on all parties of the Socialist International to support the social democratic political forces and set in motion all actions to strengthen democracy;

3. Considering that the enlargement of the European Union is a decisive and strategic choice for the future of the European continent, for each nation and every people and an historic opportunity to achieve a united Europe, and that therefore the enlargement of the EU is a challenge which cannot be allowed to fail, the Committee:

appreciates the commitment and determination with which the candidate countries have pursued policies of convergence and adjustment to the acquis communautaires;

hopes that the Danish presidency will live up to the great expectations of many in Europe in finalising the negotiations with the applicant countries and confirming the decision of the European Council in Helsinki to commence the accession of new members as from 2004;

considers that it is necessary that the European Council in Copenhagen defines a clear road map for every relevant country regarding enlargement;

calls on all European governments and parliaments to do their utmost to speed up the process of ratification of the signed accords;

strongly underlines the promise that there must be a realistic option for joining the EU for any European country fulfilling the criteria;

emphasises that the enlargement of the EU should not create new dividing lines but has to respect the interests of the citizens and countries also beyond the boundaries of the EU, like in the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation;

urges the European Union to prepare in advance the necessary financial resources to foster better integration of all candidate countries;

hopes that the European Convention will approve the institutional reforms to expand the cohesion of the EU and the full participation of each country in its political processes;

underlines the importance that citizens fully identify with the process of European integration and urges the EU to equip itself with the instruments of participation which will confer full democratic legitimacy on the process of European integration;

urges the European Union to reaffirm the links of cooperation and association with those countries, like Croatia, wishing to join the European Union;

encourages the forms of subregional cooperation useful for creating relations based on trust, cooperation and a common future;

welcomes with satisfaction the increasing cooperation between the European Union and the Russian Federation, upon the strengthening of which the stability and prosperity of the entire European continent depends;

hopes that the enlargement of NATO to other countries of Central and Eastern Europe will accelerate the changes within this organisation towards an understanding of security based on the interests of all the countries in the continent;

4. Welcoming the success achieved by the socialist and social democratic parties in recent elections in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, the Committee:

underlines that these results demonstrate the vitality and relevancy of our principles and that social democratic policies enjoy a growing level of support;

welcomes the support given by the Party of European Socialists and its Parliamentary Group to the social democratic and socialist parties of the candidate countries to meet the challenges linked to enlargement;

expresses full solidarity with the region’s parties of social democratic and socialist inspiration;

is alarmed by the ongoing persecution of exponents of the opposition, the media and civic society in Belarus and expresses its willingness to contribute its utmost to support the establishment of democracy and individual freedom in this country;

reaffirms its commitment to supporting all the initiatives necessary to establish democracy, freedom, respect for human rights, solidarity, justice and sustainable development in the region.


Co-Chairs of the Committee
Piero Fassino
(Italy, DS)

László Kovács
(Hungary, MSzP)

Secretary General of the SI
Luis Ayala

Socialist Party of Albania, SPA
Ilir Zela

Social Democratic Party of Austria, SPÖ
Albrecht Konecny

Socialist Party, PS
Etienne Godin

Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, SDP BiH
Sead Avdic
Svetozar Pudaric
Dragan Ivanovic

European Left
Kiril Avramov

Bulgarian Social Democratic Party, BSDP
Georgy Anastasov
Nadja Radeva

Social Democratic Party, SDP
Mirjana Feric-Vac
Irina Stajcic

Czech Social Democratic Party, CSSD
Vladimir Müller

Socialist Party, PS
Christian Castagna

Panhellenic Socialist Movement, PASOK
Mata Markellou

Hungarian Socialist Party, MSzP
Alexandra Dobolyi

Democrats of the Left, DS
Marina Sereni
Carlo Pegorer
Ludovico Sonego
Milos Budin

Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, SDUM

Igor Ivanovski

Social Democratic Party, SDPM
Ranko Krivokapic

Democratic Left Alliance, SLD
Robert Zmejko

Union of Labour, UP
Kasia Matuszewska

Democratic Party, PD
Mihai Darie

Party of the Democratic Left, SDL
Lubomir Petrak
Tomas Kuchtik
Judita Takacova

United List of Social Democrats, ZLSD
Borut Pahor
Rado Bohinc
Vlado Dimovski
Feri Horvat
Rado Genorio
Natasa Kovac

Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, PSOE
María Solanas

Swedish Social Democratic Party, SAP
Urban Ahlin

International Union of Socialist Youth, IUSY
Peter Pristovnik

Socialist International Women, SIW
Marlène Haas

Parliamentary Group of the PES
Demetrio Volcic
Livio Semolic

Party of European Socialists, PES
Nick Crook

SI Secretariat
Latifa Perry
Gabriela Shepherd


Party of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD
Zeljka Cvijanovic

Bulgarian Socialist Party
Kristian Vigenin

Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro
Mladen Vukcevic
Daliborja Pejovic

Social Democratic Party, PSD
Victor Bostinaru

Russian Social Democratic Party, SDPR
Boris Guseletov

United Russia
Petr Fedosov

Social Democratic Party
Natasha Milojevic

Democratic Party
Gordana Comic

Social Democratic Party, SDPU
Olena Skomoroshchenko
Eduard Matvijchiuk

Socialist Party
Vitaly Shybko

Other activities

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