The First Conference of Speakers of Parliament held in Athens on 15-16 October 1997 continued the common efforts for fostering regional cooperation. Parliamentary cooperation became multilateral and acquired a much more distinctive institutional shape as part of the general process of cooperation in South East Europe. The process of cooperation was given a clear institutional form with the adoption of the Bucharest Charter in 2000 and the Skopje Declaration in 2001.
The main goals of inter-parliamentary cooperation as well as its political formats were further developed in the Memorandum of Understanding for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation in SEE signed in 2008 in Sofia.
The main objectives of interparliamentary cooperation in South East Europe are to:
2.1. Coordinate the efforts of national parliaments in support to the RCC and SEECP;
2.2. Promote further capacity building and institutional strengthening of South East Europe countries Parliaments;
2.3. Promote exchange of information, experience and best practices between national parliaments of the South East Europe countries at all levels (e.g. Speakers, Committees, parliamentary staff);
2.4. Further encourage and assist efforts by Parliaments of South East Europe countries towards harmonization of their legislation with the acquis communautaire and other EU and international standards;
2.5. Enhance links with the European Parliament and other international parliamentary organizations and initiatives, in priority those mentioned in Article 4.4;
2.6. Further reinforce democratic institutions in the South East Europe region;
2.7. Increase citizens’ involvement and ownership of the reform processes;
2.8. Strengthen the cooperation with the non-governmental sector due to its prominent role in raising the awareness for regional ownership and for the need of regional cooperationand
2.9 Encourage the public and private sectors to propose initiatives and activities related to their field of interest with regional dimension.
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