Convened Meeting Between the Vice Presidents of the Parliaments of the Dayton Agreement Signatory Countries

On May 10th 2013, in the Serbian National Assembly, a meeting between the vice presidents of the parliaments of the Dayton Agreement signatory countries was convened on the occasion of which the participants discussed the Nordic model of cooperation and the prospects of its application within the framework of the Igman Initiative expert team findings and recommendations.

After greeting the participants, the President of the Serbian National Assembly stated that it is imperative for the countries of our region to establish a level of cooperation akin to cooperation among the Nordic countries for the benefit of all citizens. It is necessary for us to disentangle from the past, just as the Nordic countries previously engaged in conflicts did, while today they enjoy a level of regional cooperation only to be regarded by other countries. Mr. Stefanovic emphasized the level of respect for differences as well as the demonstration of political will for cooperation, both of which the countries of our region should aspire.

The Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Adriano Martins stated that the European countries support the European integration process of the Balkan countries and added that one of the key roles in that process is to be held by the parliaments. He reminded of the importance of developing a sound regional cooperation which should be based on mutual understanding, similar to the Nordic model.

The Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia Peter Burckhard commended the Igman Initiative project and added that to the region of Southeast Europe regional cooperation denotes an important mechanism for solving the past conflicts.

The Ambassador of Sweden to Serbia Christer Asp offered expertise assistance on the part of the Nordic countries in the realization of the Igman Initiative project.

Roksanda Nincic, Serbian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs talked about the importance of the policy of good neighborly cooperation, referring, among others, to Croatia’s entry into the EU and its significance on the region. Aleksandar Popov, Co-president of the Igman Initiative for Serbia introduced to the participants the Igman Initiative project on the transfer of the experiences of the Nordic Council regarding advancement of Inter-parliamentary cooperation to the Dayton Agreement signatory countries. Mr. Popov underlined that the Igman Initiative engages a vast number of CSOs from B&H, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro. He assessed that this particular projects represents a genuine example of a joint engagement between civic and public sector based on the principles of impartial partnership. The Nordic model of cooperation was selected given that the Nordic countries, similar to Dayton Quadrangle countries, share mutual history and tradition, without prevailing linguistic barriers.

Branko Lukovac, Co-president of the Igman Initiative for Montenegro, estimated that the period of conflicts between the countries signatories of the Dayton Agreement should represents the past and that in the forthcoming period those countries should assume to intensify regional cooperation and enter further phases of European integration. Through the application of the Nordic experiences, stated Lukovac, such cooperation should be based on mutual interest of the four countries and their citizens.

The participants were also addressed by the Vice Presidents of the Serbian National Assembly Vesna Kovac and Gordana Comic, Vice President of the Parliament of Montenegro Suljo Mustafic, representative of the Parliamentary Assembly of B&H Lazar Prodanovic, as well as the Co-president of the Igman Initiative for Croatia Zoran Pusic. The speakers stressed the importance of economic cooperation and the necessity of developing regional cooperation in the areas of environment protection, energy, traffic and science and research programs. Mr. Aleksandar Popov concluded that the Dayton Agreement signatory countries should aim their cooperation towards the key areas determined during the meeting, emphasizing the importance of monitoring the enforcement of legislation in the area of environment protection. Additionally, in the near future the Igman Initiative anticipates a meeting between the presidents of the parliaments of the Dayton Quadrangle countries.

Downloaded from the website of the Serbian National Assembly