Declaration of Zagreb

Meeting of the Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, Zagreb, Croatia, 6-7 October 2000


Original: French

The Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe (SICEE), meeting in Zagreb on 6-7 October 2000,

1. Warmly welcoming the developments in Serbia:

congratulates and extends its solidarity with the men and women who, through the elections and on the streets of Belgrade and other Serbian towns, are freeing themselves of the Milosevic regime;

expresses the hope that Vojislav Kostunica, freely elected by the people, may rapidly assume his responsibilities as President and that a democratic government be formed;

emphasises that a new democratic political framework in Belgrade should be supported by the international community, including the lifting of sanctions;

stresses that the development of democracy in Serbia depends also on economic support and appeals to the international community to make commitments in this regard;

underlines that the new democratic phase which took off in Croatia a year ago encouraged democractic change in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;

hopes that the next local elections in Kosovo will take place in free, fair and democratic conditions and that they will be another occasion for strengthening peace and stability in the region;

affirms the importance of including the Yugoslav Federation in the Stability Pact and of its integration in the international community;

stresses that a new democratic leadership in Belgrade will encourage stability and cooperation in the whole region, the implementation of the Dayton Agreements in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a new spirit of dialogue with the Albanians in Kosovo and their representatives, and with all their neighbouring countries;

supports the activity of The Hague Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in order to ensure that all those indicted of war crimes perpetrated in the region are brought to justice, including Slobodan Milosevic;

calls on all the parties of the Socialist International to do everything possible to help strengthen democracy in the Yugoslav Federation and to support the political forces of social democratic inspiration.

2. While emphasising that the enlargement of the European Union represents a great challenge and opportunity for the peoples and governments of Europe:

underlines that the prospect of joining the European Union has enabled candidate countries to obtain remarkable success in achieving solid democratic institutions, modern market economies and developed societies;

reaffirms that the goal of enlargement is to ensure peace, prosperity, stability and security for all the peoples and nations of Europe;

expresses the hope that the next European Council in Nice will be in a position to agree the institutional reforms necessary for enlargement;

emphasises the importance of implementing the decisions taken at the European Council in Helsinki as regards the negotiations and the timetable for membership;

welcomes the approval by the European Council in Biarritz of the European Charter of Rights, which will make a favourable contribution to enlargement;

calls on the candidate countries to pursue policies of convergence towards the acquis communitaire, which is a condition of membership for each of these countries;

appeals for an intensification of the negotiations with the candidate countries and stresses that the membership of each country will be based on the results which each one is able to achieve;

emphasises the importance of candidate countries implementing European standards in the areas covered by the Third Pillar - in relation to immigration, free circulation, the fight against international crime - so as to reassure public opinion that enlargement will strengthen the security of citizens;

reaffirms that the European Union should take all necessary measures and provide the funding required to support and encourage the convergence policies of the candidate countries;

at the same time calls on the European Union to follow the association strategy in relation to countries, such as Croatia, who wish to join the EU in the future, each of which should be admitted on the basis of their respective achievements;

emphasises too that the enlargement of the European Union calls for a strengthening of cooperation policies with regard to Russia, by accelerating the implementation of the Action Plan agreed by the EU to aid the government in Moscow to stabilise democracy and speed up economic reforms.

3. The Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe:

reaffirms the commitment of the Socialist International and its parties to support in Yugoslavia and in each country of the region the realisation of political democracy, of a social market economy and human rights for all individuals, communities and peoples;

agrees on the sending of a mission of the Socialist International to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), to strengthen cooperation with social democratic forces and relations with other democratic forces in FRY.