Ljubljana Declaration

Meeting of the Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 12-13 July 2002

The Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, SICEE, meeting on 12-13 July 2002 in Ljubljana,

1. Reiterates the firm commitment and will, affirmed at the last SI Congress, to make liberty, democracy, justice and solidarity the principles with which to face the challenges of globalisation.

 

2. Welcoming with satisfaction the progress achieved in the process of peace and stabilisation in the Balkans, the Committee:

urges the enhanced regional cooperation between the countries in the region on the one hand, and with neighbouring candidate countries as well as member states of the EU on the other, by using all available means to accelerate the Stabilisation and Association process;

supports the important progress reached by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in its path towards democracy and calls on the international community to increase investment and economic help which are essential for the construction of a market economy able to promote social development with justice and economic growth;

reaffirms the importance of support for all activities which contribute to the strengthening of democratic institutions in Serbia and Montenegro;

welcomes with great satisfaction the current talks between the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, to renew the foundations of the Serbia and Montenegro State Union;

welcomes with great satisfaction the opening of dialogue between the Serbian government and the authorities of Vojvodina and other regions to achieve the decentralisation and regionalisation of Serbia;

calls on all interested parties to implement without delay the accords signed in Macedonia and asks all the parties involved to implement the necessary measures to carry out free and fair parliamentary elections;

calls on The Hague Tribunal to pursue and punish all war criminals, and to render justice to all victims, and welcomes the fact that the trial against Milosevic has begun;

expresses satisfaction at the carrying out of elections in Kosovo and encourages the parties involved and the international community to implement the measures necessary to ensure a respect for the rights, dignity and security of each community in Kosovo;

fully supports the progress underway in Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding the implementation of the Dayton Accords and the building of democratic institutions with a partnership between the Bosnian and Herzegovinian authorities and the international community;

calls on the international community to remain committed to its involvement in the peace-keeping mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, promoting a safe environment and encouraging the ongoing democratic process;

affirms that to guarantee peace and stability in the region, it is necessary to ensure in each country the legal equality of all citizens, women and men, whatever their ethnic origin, and respecting their cultural and religious characteristics;

reaffirms the need to regulate immigration, respecting the right to free circulation, and to combat illegal trafficking and all forms of crimes in order to ensure security, stability and growth;

urges the international community to endow the Stability Pact with the necessary financial resources and instruments to accelerate the process of stabilisation of the region;

invites the international institutions to support and encourage the return home of refugees and displaced persons of different countries;

underlines that the economic, political and military commitment of the international community in the region is essential and welcomes the fact that the European Union will assume responsibility for the international police force in Bosnia and Herzegovina and has expressed its willingness to take over the peace-keeping role in Macedonia;

calls on the EU, following the Zagreb Summit in November 2000, to strengthen its relations with the countries of the region and begin turning the prospect of accession into reality and welcomes the progress made by these countries with regard to the Stabilisation and Association Process;

calls on all parties of the Socialist International to support the social democratic political forces and set in motion all actions to strengthen democracy;

 

3. Considering that the enlargement of the European Union is a decisive and strategic choice for the future of the European continent, for each nation and every people and an historic opportunity to achieve a united Europe, and that therefore the enlargement of the EU is a challenge which cannot be allowed to fail, the Committee:

appreciates the commitment and determination with which the candidate countries have pursued policies of convergence and adjustment to the acquis communautaires;

hopes that the Danish presidency will live up to the great expectations of many in Europe in finalising the negotiations with the applicant countries and confirming the decision of the European Council in Helsinki to commence the accession of new members as from 2004;

considers that it is necessary that the European Council in Copenhagen defines a clear road map for every relevant country regarding enlargement;

calls on all European governments and parliaments to do their utmost to speed up the process of ratification of the signed accords;

strongly underlines the promise that there must be a realistic option for joining the EU for any European country fulfilling the criteria;

emphasises that the enlargement of the EU should not create new dividing lines but has to respect the interests of the citizens and countries also beyond the boundaries of the EU, like in the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation;

urges the European Union to prepare in advance the necessary financial resources to foster better integration of all candidate countries;

hopes that the European Convention will approve the institutional reforms to expand the cohesion of the EU and the full participation of each country in its political processes;

underlines the importance that citizens fully identify with the process of European integration and urges the EU to equip itself with the instruments of participation which will confer full democratic legitimacy on the process of European integration;

urges the European Union to reaffirm the links of cooperation and association with those countries, like Croatia, wishing to join the European Union;

encourages the forms of subregional cooperation useful for creating relations based on trust, cooperation and a common future;

welcomes with satisfaction the increasing cooperation between the European Union and the Russian Federation, upon the strengthening of which the stability and prosperity of the entire European continent depends;

hopes that the enlargement of NATO to other countries of Central and Eastern Europe will accelerate the changes within this organisation towards an understanding of security based on the interests of all the countries in the continent;

 

4. Welcoming the success achieved by the socialist and social democratic parties in recent elections in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, the Committee:

underlines that these results demonstrate the vitality and relevancy of our principles and that social democratic policies enjoy a growing level of support;

welcomes the support given by the Party of European Socialists and its Parliamentary Group to the social democratic and socialist parties of the candidate countries to meet the challenges linked to enlargement;

expresses full solidarity with the region’s parties of social democratic and socialist inspiration;

is alarmed by the ongoing persecution of exponents of the opposition, the media and civic society in Belarus and expresses its willingness to contribute its utmost to support the establishment of democracy and individual freedom in this country;

reaffirms its commitment to supporting all the initiatives necessary to establish democracy, freedom, respect for human rights, solidarity, justice and sustainable development in the region.

 

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