Sofia, Bulgaria (2 February 2016) — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Igor Lukšić participated earlier today in Sofia in the Informal meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Participating States.
The meeting concentrated on current challenges in Southeast Europe and the role of the SEECP in regional processes and cooperation, as a prerequisite for broader integration trends. Special emphasis was placed on tackling the issues of immigration, terrorism, organised crime and human trafficking, the need to promote economic growth and strengthen relationship among countries in the region, as well as the enlargement perspective.
The foreign ministers adopted a joint declaration on migration challenges in Southeast Europe, which confirms the common position of the region on the need for decisive and coordinated action in the field of migration, asylum, border management and prevention of human trafficking, as well as the need to enhance dialogue with the countries of origin of migrants and search for a political settlement of the existing conflicts. They particularly welcomed the provision of financial assistance from EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (Madad Fund), that will include the countries of the Western Balkans, with a view to responding to migration challenges.
Deputy Prime Minister Lukšić said that the SEECP has proved to be the leading political forum in Southeast Europe contributing to the stability and prosperity of the region on its path towards European and Euro-Atlantic structures. He stressed the importance of joint responses to immmigration issue and recalled the activities of the current Montenegrin presidency of the Regional Initiative for Migration, Asylum and Refugees (MARRI).
The Montenegrin foreign minister voiced Montenegro’s commitment to constructive dialogue and the advancement of the project-oriented cooperation through the framework of the Berlin Process, implementation priorities, namely the infrastructure projects in transport and energy, which will create conditions for individual and common economic recovery of the region and its European perspective.
DPM Lukšić expressed regret over the decision of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) to stop financing its Secretariat of the Working Group on Culture and Society in Cetinje, stressing its importance for the entire region and urged the European Commission to consider finding a solution to the functioning of the secretariat.
Source: Government of Montenegro