Meeting of the SI Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, SICEE, Sofia

14-15 June 2003

The SI Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, SICEE, met on 14-15 June in Sofia, Bulgaria, where it addressed a number of issues high on the agenda of the region today, including the enlargement of the European Union, stability in the Balkans and strategies of integration, and SI initiatives regarding Russia and countries of the CIS. The meeting was hosted by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the Bulgarian Social Democrats and the Euro Left.

Co-chaired by Piero Fassino, National Secretary of the Democrats of the Left, DS, Italy, and László Kovács, Foreign Minister of Hungary, Hungarian Socialist Party, MSzP, the meeting was attended by over 30 member parties and guest organisations.

The Sofia Declaration was adopted by the Committee, highlighting the significance of the process of the enlargement of the European Union for the countries of the Central and Eastern European region. The declaration also reflected the Committee's discussions on the strategic importance of the Balkans for stability, security and peace in Europe and considered the strengthening of democratic socialism in Russia, the CIS nations and in the Caucasus essential.

The meeting was followed with great interest by the media of the country and Fassino, Kovács and Ayala were received by the President of the Republic, Georgi Parvanov, who also attended a reception at the National Museum held in honour of all the participants.