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History and Objectives

The SEDM Process in brief

In consequence of the tumultuous experiences of the last decade and following NATO-led missions that aimed to build as well as to maintain peace and security in South-East Europe, a consideration for a necessity of a consistent regional cooperation mechanism in this region emerged in the international society. Hence came forward the South-East Europe Defense Ministerial (SEDM) Process, which began with a meeting of Ministers of Defense held in Tirana in March 1996, first of a series of meetings that convened the Ministers of Defense, Deputy Ministers of Defense and Deputy Chiefs of Defense of nations of South-East Europe. The activities undertaken within the context of the SEDM Process have developed the security of South-East Europe by three major ways: promoting regional cooperation and good neighborly relations, strengthening regional Defense capabilities as well as cooperation through collective efforts and last but not least, establishing links facilitating integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.

Main objective of the SEDM process is strengthening understanding and politico-military cooperation in the region in order to enhance the stability and security in SEE.

SEDM objectives:

  • Promotion of mutual understanding, confidence and cooperation among member countries
  • Contribution of SEDM and Multinational Peace Force of the SEE (MPFSEE) / South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG) to regional and worldwide security and stability
  • Enhancement of the SEEBRIG interoperability and capability to deploy in peace support missions
  • Facilitation of SEEBRIG employment in peace support operations
  • Promotion of Euro-Atlantic integration processes of SEDM member nations
  • Implementation and development of the SEDM projects
  • Enlargement of the SEDM process with new members
  • Cooperation with International Organizations (UN, EU, NATO and OCSE)
MPFSEE / SEDM


Since the MPFSEE Agreement was signed on 26 September 1998 the SEDM, with its constituent member nations, has achieved considerable progress.  To date the South Eastern Europe Defence Ministerial (SEDM) has had a role to play in strengthening peace and stability in the region of South Eastern Europe and importantly has contributed to peace efforts further afield.  During the past thirteen years the SEDM forum has been effective, with dialogue aimed at building a more secure and prosperous region through close regional co-operation and sharing common aims between member countries and observer nations.  SEDM has achieved an internationally recognised image, including being held as an excellent model of mutual co-operation among States that are committed to strengthen international peace and stability.  The development of those basic values is enshrined in such internationally renowned organisations, such as the UN, NATO, the EU and the OSCE.  We have also created a military instrument, SEEBRIG, which enables us to work more closely together, to improve our joint defence capabilities, to assist in joining larger organisations such as NATO and the EU, which will strengthen Euro-Atlantic ties. In this vein could be suitable the  proposal to stop the command rotation that takes place every four years in order to offer further possibilities to share professional expertise and to strengthen the already-existing cooperation.


MPFSEE / SEDM Outline Concept
 

Nevertheless, despite our achievement this is not the time for inactivity; further efforts should be made to develop and progress further this initiative.  The MPFSEE / SEDM is no different – if we stand still our current structure will lack purpose, direction and effectiveness.  We must do all we can, within the resources available, to co-ordinate ongoing regional security initiatives, promote the employment of SEEBRIG in conflict prevention and other peace support operations and to assist in the international community’s wider peace efforts.  For those risks that we can predict, we must act both to reduce the likelihood of their occurring and develop the resilience to reduce their impact. Furthermore, the only way to improve the capacity of conflict prevention could be the wider integration into the useful partnership on a regional or international basis. Should we seek to undertake security tasks only within the boundaries of our countries or should we assist the wider international security effort to assure peace and stability inside and outside our region?  Alliances and partnerships are a fundamental part of our approach to defence and security.  We have built a constructive relationship across South Eastern Europe and we must maintain this to ensure peace and the conditions for mutual growth.  However, we can go further by seeking greater international engagement that is essential to our future security that is based prioritarily on the Euro Atlantic structures as the bedrock of our defence, but also with an outward-facing EU that promotes security and prosperity.  These deepened relationships, from which we can share capabilities, technologies and programmes, aim to ensure that collective resources can go further.  Much of what we want to achieve can be fulfilled through SEEBRIG.  However, we need to determine what we want SEEBRIG to do and, importantly, what we want it to become in the future. By utilising SEEBRIG in this way it can assist members willing to attain and maintain Euro-Atlantic standards, which are necessary to meet and maintain Euro-Atlantic and European aspirations. Importantly, we should also strive to raise the profile of SEDM and SEEBRIG, both internationally and nationally, so that communities understand what we do, why we do it and what benefits are derived from such collective efforts.

 
 

Albanian Chairmanship 2019-2021

"Power through Unity"

 

Message of the Chairman H.E. Mr. Petro KOÇI,as Albania assumes the SEDM Chairmanship

 

Dear Colleagues,

As Albania assumed the Chairmanship of the SEDM Secretariat  in July 2019, in the capacity of one of the signatory countries of the SEDM Agreement since the inception of this Initiative, as well as in the capacity of the country in which this Initiative “was born”, as the Chairman of the SEDM Process, I would like to highlight that Albania is a firm supporter of the SEDM Initiative and we are fully committed to continue promoting the relevance of the SEDM Process, which has proved to be a successful confidence building mechanism in SEE, as it has strengthened the relations among our countries and has contributed to their proper efforts towards a common Euro-Atlantic future.

The experience that we gained so far is significant for both the efficiency of regional cooperation and increasing SEEBRIG’s potentials. As we celebrated 20 years of SEEBRIG, we believe that the Brigade is a good example of pooling and sharing our capacities for regional civil emergencies and NATO’s military operations. Moreover, SEDM has always been a project-oriented organization, thus we will aim to raise awareness on the current projects and look to any new opportunities and ideas, in possible harmony with those of international organizations such as NATO and EU.

The focus of the Albanian Chairmanship is on achieving the main priority goals, as follows:

  • Consolidating the confidence-building mechanism; strengthening the military cooperation in South-Eastern Europe;
  • Providing the necessary environment for interaction and cooperation among our servicemen and women in different fields and projects undertaken by SEDM Initiative;
  • Enhancement of the level of interaction with other international organizations, namely NATO, EU and UN and by contributing in certain operations and missions with its MPFSEE (Multinational Peace Force of South East Europe);
  • Enhancement of the SEEBRIG interoperability and capability to be deployed in Peace Support Operations;
  • Promoting and enhancing the visibility of SEDM Initiative and SEEBRIG;
  • Implementation and development of the SEDM projects, consider new effective cooperation areas and avoiding duplications or overlapping with other Initiatives;
  • Promoting “Open Door Policy” in order to reaffirm our commitment to the openness of our Initiative, which contributes to Peace and Security in the Euro-Atlantic area.

I would also like to highlight the achievements during all these years by working together and by staying united, as our unity is our strength, confirming the words of our National Hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Scanderbeg “Power through Unity’’, the motto of the Albanian Chairmanship.

We present our best wishes to the Athens Chairmanship for the achievements during their tenure and I express my gratitude for the great support and assistance in transitioning the Chairmanship to Albania.

The Secretariat under the Albanian Chairmanship is comprised of the Director of the Secretariat and 4 Secretariat members, respectively:

Secretariat Director:             Mr. Gjergji METHOXHA

Secretariat Members:          Ms. Sindi KOVAÇI, Coordinator,

Lt Col. Ilirian KAÇORRI, Staff Officer,

Maj. Olger ILJAZI, Staff Officer,

Mrs. Elona MAKO, Administration/Protocol.

 

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