Champion of Regional Cooperation according to the Regional Cooperation Council

BELGRADE / SARAJEVO – The European Fund for the Balkans is honored to be selected as the Champion of Regional Cooperation award for 2015, a recognition that has been presented by the Regional Cooperation Council.

The Champion of Regional Cooperation is an individual or an institution that the RCC Secretariat and its Secretary General consider has contributed the most to the development of regional cooperation in South East Europe over the course of the past year.

As it is noted in the letter from Mr. Goran Svilanovic, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, The European Fund for the Balkans has been and is contributing greatly towards the regional cooperation in SEE, through the plethora of its programmes like the Think and Link –Regional Policy Programme, The Fellowship Programme for Government Officials, the regional TV talk-show “Vicinities” (Okruzenje). An especially noteworthy role in the recent years, has been given to the EFB’s Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG), that has distinguished itself through the extremely valuable set of policy papers, especially the policy brief “Removing obstacles to EU accession: Bilateral disputes in the Western Balkans”. In the frames of the Vienna Western Balkans Summit that was held in august 2015, the Western Balkans Foreign Ministers on the Vienna Summit adopted the text of the „Declaration on Bilateral Issues“, and committed themselves to a resolution all open questions in the spirit of good neighbourliness and commitment to European Integration. The Declaration, adopted in the course of the Western Balkans Vienna Summit was drafted by the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) and it is an integral part of the policy brief ”Removing Obstacles to EU Accession: Bilateral Disputes in the Western Balkans” prepared in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. By adopting this document, the Western Balkan states pledged to not block, or otherwise impede their neighbours’ progress towards the European Union.

“Via this examples and other programme activities, the European Fund for the Balkans has established itself as a prime example of professional performance as well as effective cooperation, and represents an exemplary model of a successful regional cooperation organisation” – is said in the letter of recognition by the Secretary General of RCC.

The award will be presented to the Executive Director of the European Fund for the Balkans, Ms. Hedvig Morvai on 25th of February in Sarajevo.