The Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, SICEE, met in Zagreb on 6-7 October, hosted by SI-member the Croatian Social Democratic Party, SDP, which heads the country's government. As developments unfolded in Serbia which led to the assumption of the presidency by Vojislav Kostunica in succession to Slobodan Milosevic, the Committee issued a declaration congratulating and extending its solidarity with the men and women who "through elections and on the streets had freed themselves of the Milosevic regime". Reports were presented on the developments as they happened by delegates from Serbian social democratic organisations participating at the meeting.
The Declaration went on to emphasise that a new democratic political framework in Belgrade should be supported by the international community, stressing that the development of democracy in Serbia depended also on economic support and appealing to the international community to make commitments in this regard. It underlined that the new democratic phase which started in Croatia a year ago had encouraged democratic change in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
SICEE hoped that the next local elections in Kosovo would take place in free, fair and democratic conditions and that they would be another occasion "for strengthening peace and stability in the region", affirming the importance of including the Yugoslav Federation in the Stability Pact and of its integration in the international community. The Committee underlined the fact that a new democratic leadership in Belgrade would encourage stability and cooperation in the whole region, the implementation of the Dayton Agreements in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a new spirit of dialogue with the Albanians in Kosovo and their representatives, and with all their neighbouring countries.
It supported the activity of the Hague Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its work to ensure all those indicted of war crimes perpetrated in the region were brought to justice, including Milosevic.
While emphasising that the enlargement of the European Union represented a great challenge and opportunity for the peoples and governments of Europe it underlined that the prospect of joining the European Union had enabled candidate countries to obtain remarkable success in achieving solid democratic institutions, modern market economies and developed societies, expressing the hope that the next European Council in Nice would agree the institutional reforms necessary for enlargement. It went on to welcome the approval by the European Council in Biarritz of the European Charter of Rights.
The meeting was chaired by Piero Fassino (DS, Italy) and László Kovács (MSzP, Hungary), Co-Chairs of the Committee, and opened by Mirjana Feric Vac, Vice-President of the SDP, and SI Secretary General, Luis Ayala.
It was agreed to hold the next meeting in late March 2001 in Belgrade.
The Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe (SICEE), meeting in Zagreb on 6-7 October 2000,
1. Warmly welcoming the developments in Serbia:
congratulates and extends its solidarity with the men and women who, through the elections and on the streets of Belgrade and other Serbian towns, are freeing themselves of the Milosevic regime;
expresses the hope that Vojislav Kostunica, freely elected by the people, may rapidly assume his responsibilities as President and that a democratic government be formed;
emphasises that a new democratic political framework in Belgrade should be supported by the international community, including the lifting of sanctions;
stresses that the development of democracy in Serbia depends also on economic support and appeals to the international community to make commitments in this regard;
underlines that the new democratic phase which took off in Croatia a year ago encouraged democractic change in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;
hopes that the next local elections in Kosovo will take place in free, fair and democratic conditions and that they will be another occasion for strengthening peace and stability in the region;
affirms the importance of including the Yugoslav Federation in the Stability Pact and of its integration in the international community;
stresses that a new democratic leadership in Belgrade will encourage stability and cooperation in the whole region, the implementation of the Dayton Agreements in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a new spirit of dialogue with the Albanians in Kosovo and their representatives, and with all their neighbouring countries;
supports the activity of The Hague Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in order to ensure that all those indicted of war crimes perpetrated in the region are brought to justice, including Slobodan Milosevic;
calls on all the parties of the Socialist International to do everything possible to help strengthen democracy in the Yugoslav Federation and to support the political forces of social democratic inspiration.
2. While emphasising that the enlargement of the European Union represents a great challenge and opportunity for the peoples and governments of Europe:
underlines that the prospect of joining the European Union has enabled candidate countries to obtain remarkable success in achieving solid democratic institutions, modern market economies and developed societies;
reaffirms that the goal of enlargement is to ensure peace, prosperity, stability and security for all the peoples and nations of Europe;
expresses the hope that the next European Council in Nice will be in a position to agree the institutional reforms necessary for enlargement;
emphasises the importance of implementing the decisions taken at the European Council in Helsinki as regards the negotiations and the timetable for membership;
welcomes the approval by the European Council in Biarritz of the European Charter of Rights, which will make a favourable contribution to enlargement;
calls on the candidate countries to pursue policies of convergence towards the acquis communitaire, which is a condition of membership for each of these countries;
appeals for an intensification of the negotiations with the candidate countries and stresses that the membership of each country will be based on the results which each one is able to achieve;
emphasises the importance of candidate countries implementing European standards in the areas covered by the Third Pillar - in relation to immigration, free circulation, the fight against international crime - so as to reassure public opinion that enlargement will strengthen the security of citizens;
reaffirms that the European Union should take all necessary measures and provide the funding required to support and encourage the convergence policies of the candidate countries;
at the same time calls on the European Union to follow the association strategy in relation to countries, such as Croatia, who wish to join the EU in the future, each of which should be admitted on the basis of their respective achievements;
emphasises too that the enlargement of the European Union calls for a strengthening of cooperation policies with regard to Russia, by accelerating the implementation of the Action Plan agreed by the EU to aid the government in Moscow to stabilise democracy and speed up economic reforms.
3. The Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe:
reaffirms the commitment of the Socialist International and its parties to support in Yugoslavia and in each country of the region the realisation of political democracy, of a social market economy and human rights for all individuals, communities and peoples;
agrees on the sending of a mission of the Socialist International to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), to strengthen cooperation with social democratic forces and relations with other democratic forces in FRY.
Co-Chairs of the Committee
Secretary General of the SI
Socialist Party of Albania, SPA
ARF Armenian Socialist Party
Social Democratic Party of Austria, SPÖ
Albrecht K. Konecny
Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada), BSDP
Socialist Party, PS
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, SDP BiH
Social Democratic Party, SDP
Mirjana Feric Vac
Czech Social Democratic Party, CSSD
Finnish Social Democratic Party, SDP
Socialist Party, PS
Social Democratic Party of Germany, SDP
The Labour Party
Panhellenic Socialist Movement, PASOK
Hungarian Social Democratic Party, MSzDP
Hungarian Socialist Party, MSzP
Israel Labour Party
Democrats of the Left, DS
FYR OF MACEDONIA
Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, SDUM
Norwegian Labour Party, DNA
Eispen Barth Eide
Democratic Party, PD
Romanian Social Democratic Party, PSDR
United List of Social Democrats of Slovenia, ZL
Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, PSOE
Swedish Social Democratic Party, SAP
Socialist International Women, SIW
Party of European Socialists, PES
Friedrich O. J. Roll
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
Party of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA
Social Democratic Union, SDU, of Serbia
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA
Otechestvo (Fatherland) Organisation
Russian United Social Democratic Party, RUSDP
Socialist Party of Russia, SPR
Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (United), SDPU(U)
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