1 Approved by acclamation by Conference participants.

2 See further Section II. Background below.

3 Other participants included the Office of the Stability Pact’s Special Co-ordinator for South Eastern Europe and members of the Albanian government, as well as representatives of several international organisations, national parliaments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and diplomatic representations in Tirana.

4 Including: Mr Erhard Busek (Special Co-ordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe); Mr Giuseppe di Gennaro (Chairman of the Stability Pact Anti-corruption Initiative); Mr Mikko Elo (Chairman of the Sub-committee on International Economic Relations, Committee on Economic Affairs and Development, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe); Mrs. Daniela Gressani (Lead Economist for Europe and Central Asia of the Vice-president’s Office, World Bank); Mr Orhan Güvenen (Chairman of the Governing Board, Council of Europe Development Bank); Mr Goran Klemencic (Economic Crime Division, Directorate General of Legal Affairs, Council of Europe); Mrs. Ermelinda Meksi (Head of the Albanian Parliamentary Delegation to the European Parliament); Ms. Elena Mizulina (Chair of the General Committee of Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE); Mr Alfred Moisiu (President of the Republic of Albania); Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Member of the European Parliament and Vice-chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs); Mrs. Mary O’Mahony (Expert, Stability Pact Working Table II); Mrs. Doris Pack (Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the Parliamentary Delegation for South Eastern Europe); Mr Servet Pellumbi (Speaker of the Albanian Parliament); Mr Jannis Sakellariou (Member of the European Parliament); Mrs. Adriana Poli Bortone (Member of the European Parliament); Mr Jack Reversade (European Investment Bank); Mr Lutz Salzman (Delegation of the European Commission in Tirana); Mr Peter Sanfey (Senior Economist, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development); Mr Peter Scheider (President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe); Mr Bernard Snoy (Director of Stability Pact Working Table II); Mrs. Rita Süssmuth (Vice-president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE); Mr Ahmed Tan (Vice-president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE); and Mrs. Rosmarie Zapfl-Helbling (Chair of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Development, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe).

5 And later reaffirmed by the Heads of State and Government on 30 July 1999.

6 Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Turkey, and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

7 Canada, Japan, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, and United States of America.

8 The Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the OSCE, the United Nations, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

9 The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

10 The Black Sea Economic Co-operation Initiative (BSEC), the Central European Initiative (CEI), the South East European Co-operation Initiative (SECI), and the South East Europe Co-operation Process (SEECP).

11 Currently chaired by Mr Alexander Rondos.

12 Currently chaired by Mr Fabrizio Saccomanni.

13 Currently chaired by Mr Vladimir Drobnjak.

14 Since 1 January 2002, Mr Erhard Busek.

15 97 percent of which had commenced by the beginning of 2002.

16 € 2.4 billion for infrastructure projects and € 500 million for refugee matters.

17 Mr Peter Schieder, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

18 The Parliamentary Troika is organised in a sponsorship system with a six-months rotating Chair. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe took over the chairmanship from the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE in July 2002 and will hand it over to the European Parliament in January 2003. Within this framework, the Parliamentary Troika organises parliamentary conferences to monitor the progress of the Stability Pact, boost co-operation on common problems, exchange views, and share experiences. The First Parliamentary Conference was held in Brussels in September 2001 and was chaired by the European Parliament, while the Second Parliamentary Conference was held in Bucharest in June 2002 and chaired by the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE.

19 To date, two of these five countries have signed SAAs with the EU, namely "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in April 2001 and Croatia in October 2001. Negotiations with Albania are set to start in the near future, while significant progress has been made also with regard to the remaining two countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

20 The projects were selected on the basis of a number of agreed criteria, such as technical feasibility, economic and environmental viability, presentation by one or more countries, and marked regional, i.e. trans-national, character.

21 The ISG’s specific mandate includes: identifying new projects; addressing and supporting implementation problems; consulting and broadening consensus with other bilateral and multilateral agencies; assisting in putting together financing packages involving the private sector; and verifying that appropriate institutional, regulatory and sector frameworks are developed to assist and accelerate the creation of regional markets. This last point is particularly important, as an inadequate or inappropriate institutional environment often delays or even jeopardises successful project implementation.

22 The potential benefits of the SEEERF include: increased reliability in the supply of electricity; lower operating costs; reduced needs for additional capacity investments (especially in electricity generation); new opportunities for private investment in infrastructure; improved opportunities for intra- and inter-regional trade; and lower prices for consumers.

23 Including the Transport Infrastructure Regional Study (TIRS) and the Balkans Regional Transport Study.

24 Including human trafficking, drug smuggling, cyber crime, as well as money laundering, bribery, tax evasion and other types of economic crime.

25 SPAI specifically encourages the participating countries to: Adopt and implement recognised European and international instruments; Promote good governance and reliable public administration; Strengthen legislation and promote the rule of law; Promote transparency and integrity of business operations; and Promote an active civil society.

26 The region has also benefited from co-ordinated technical assistance based upon individual country assessments.

27 The principle of ownership will also be strengthened through the co-chairing of the SPAI Steering Group by a representative from one of the region’s countries and the location of the secretariat in Sarajevo.

28 GRECO was established by the Council of Europe in May 1998 to provide mutual evaluation and peer pressure for compliance with the undertakings by Member States in combating corruption and organised crime. It became operational in May 1999 and in 2002 counted 34 participating countries.

29 Furthermore, a recent report on the SAP by the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Human Rights of the European Parliament recommends that, in order to proceed further and possibly also in order to receive financial assistance, the countries concerned will have to comply with four basic political conditions. The second of these conditions is the non-conclusion of bilateral agreements with the USA contrary to the purpose and aims of the statute of the ICC.

30 I.e., Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Romania, and Yugoslavia.

31 Since then, Moldova has also associated itself to this process, although with an extended deadline.

32 Namely those between: Albania and Croatia; Albania and the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”; Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia; Bosnia and Herzegovina and the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”; Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia; Bulgaria and Croatia; Bulgaria and the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”; Bulgaria and Romania (through CEFTA); Croatia and the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”; Croatia and Romania; and the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Yugoslavia.

33 Hungary and Slovenia are also active participants in this process and are likely to join the network of FTAs in the near future.

34 Furthermore, in July 2002 a Declaration on Common Principles and Best Practices on Attracting Investment to South Eastern Europe was issued by the countries in the region to demonstrate the need to act decisively, and in co-operation, to improve the region’s investment climate.

35 Mrs. Süssmuth.

36 Mr Tan.

37 In this regard, it should be noted the UNMIK is already part of the Working Group on Trade Liberalisation and Facilitation.

38 Still, the region’s electricity sector faces considerable challenges, including: the adoption of numerous new laws and regulations; the setting up of independent regulatory agencies; the training of staff; the introduction of new business concepts and practices; and the protection of vulnerable consumers once tariffs and national subsidies come down (Mr Bernard Snoy).

39 Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia.

40 Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Malta, Moldova, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine.

41 There are also the EU’s Convention of Corruption by Officials and the OECD’s Convention on Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

42 Mr Mikko Elo.

43 Ms. Elena Mizulina.

44 Mr Erhard Busek.

45 Conferences such as the one in Tirana should provide an incentive for parliamentary co-operation also within the region itself. They should be held to promote a feeling of regional ownership underpinned by a parliamentary support structure closely interlinked with, and forming part of, the Stability Pact Parliamentary Troika.

46 Reports include: Population Displacement in South-eastern Europe: Trends, Problems, Solutions, 15 July 2002 (Doc.9519); Situation of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 4 June 2002 (Doc. 9479); Europe’s Fight against Economic and Trans-national Organised Crime: Progress or Retreat?, 6 April 2001 (Doc. 9018) Implementation of the Economic Aspects of the Stability Pact for South-eastern Europe, 13 December 2000 (Doc. 8905); Parliamentary Contribution to the Implementation of the Stability Pact for South-eastern Europe, 16 March 2000 (Doc. 8665 revised); Role of Parliaments in Fighting Corruption, 18 February 2000 (Doc. 8652); Economic Reconstruction and Renewal in South-eastern Europe following the Kosovo Conflict, 7 September 1999 (Doc. 8503 + addendum); Democracy and Economic Development, 8 July 1999 (Doc. 8458); Need for Intensified Economic Co-operation among the Countries of South-eastern Europe, 24 March 1999 (Doc. 8358); and Threat to Europe from Economic Crime, 22 December 1997 (Doc. 7971).