The Stability Pact Working Table on Economic Reconstruction, Development and Cooperation No:134 - August 7, 2000

Maintenance of the economic development in Europe is closely related with the achievement of permanent stability in the Balkans. In view of this fact, a series of successful initiatives like Southeastern European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) and Stability Pact for the Southeastern Europe have been launched in the aftermath of the tragic events happened in this region. All these initiatives aimed at the economic and social reconstruction of the countries in the region are directed to the final goal of the integration of the region with the European Union. International community with the important contribution of the international financial institutions exerts great effort to accomplish this goal.

In order to reach the targets for the socio-economic development of the countries in the region and sustain them, the establishment of rules and regulations in conformity with the international norms and standards, as well as their effective implementation in accordance with the principle of transparency have a foremost importance. Furthermore, development of the institutional infrastructure capacity supported by the suitable policies aimed at the improvement of the human resources constitutes another fundamental prerequisite of the sustainable development.

Turkish people have strong, deeply rooted historical ties, cultural and social values shared with the countries in the region. This common heritage endowed Turkey with, a special responsibility to indicate close interest to the problems of the region and to assist the regional countries in their endeavours. Turkey, being conscious of her responsibility, provided an important amount of assistance within both bilateral and multilateral framework to the countries of the region during those days of war and thereafter.

In order to find solutions to the problems arising due to restructuring and reconstruction of the region, Turkey actively participates in all initiatives aiming this purpose in international fora and strongly supports the SECI and the Stability Pact.

The Stability Pact for SEE, at the turn of its first anniversary, registered an important improvement. The European Union, international financial institutions, non-EU countries and other leading international organizations provide financial assistance, administrative and supervisory support for the projects, especially in the field of infrastructure envisaged for the region. The Stability Pact will continue to contribute to the countries in the region to develop and be conscious enough to take in command of their own future to fulfil the tasks which fall under their own responsibility.

A total amount of 2.402.680.000 EURO has been earmarked for various projects during the Regional Funding Conference held on 29-30 March 2000 in Brussels. Out of this amount, 1.810.830.000 EURO has been disbursed for the Working Table II on Economic Reconstruction, Development and Cooperation.

Turkey assumed the co-chairmanship of the Stability Pact Working Table II on Economic Reconstruction, Development and Cooperation for the duration of six months starting on July 1, 2000. Turkey prepared a Work Programme comprising technical assistance and training activities, which will be financed by Turkey's own national sources, for the countries in the region to be implemented during its co-chairmanship.

Within the process of the reconstruction of the region , besides Governments, private sector has also important tasks to fulfil. Apart from the individual initiatives directed to the region, the extensive activities of the Turkish private sector within the framework of SECI and Stability Pact Business Advisory Councils are also worth to mention.

The third meeting of the Working Table II of the Stability Pact will be held on 16-17 October 2000 in İstanbul. In parallel to this meeting, on October 16, 2000, the fourth meeting of the Working Group on Liberalization and Facilitation of Trade and on October 17, 2000, the fourth meeting of the Stability Pact Business Advisory Council will also take place in İstanbul. Furthermore, under the auspices of Foreign Economic Relations Board, a Business Forum, aiming at bringing together the countries of the region with Turkish private sector and the authorities of the Stability Pact and the international financial institutions, has been envisaged to be held on October 18, 2000.