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Bucharest International Conference Centre



Bucharest, May 29th, 2014


We, the Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs of the South East European Cooperation Process Participating States,

Recalling our commitment to the principles of international law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,


Referring to the Charter on Good Neighbourly relations, stability, security and cooperation in South Eastern Europe, adopted at the meeting of the Heads of States and Governments in Bucharest on 12 February 2000 and other SEECP relevant documents,


Taking into account the Common Declaration of SEECP Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs, agreed in Budva, 18 March 2011,


Acknowledging the efforts of international partners and recognizing the importance of regional initiatives in creating synergies and complementarity,


Recalling the principle of regional ownership assumed by SEECP participating states in addressing regional concerns and priorities,


Taking note of the Joint Declaration on Eastern Partnership Justice and Home Affairs from 8October 2013,


Recognizing that it is within our states’ common interests to enhance cooperation in preventing and combating corruption and any form of organized crime, 


Paying attention to the priorities set at the regional level aligned to and equally important as those found on the European agenda in the field of justice and home affairs,


Welcoming the progress of cooperation in justice and home affairs within the South-East European Cooperation Process and the results achieved so far,


Reaffirming the importance of justice sector reform and our willingness to continue the cooperation on strengthening the rule of law, ensuring good governance, transparency in decision making process,


Reaffirming the commitment to make better use of the regional judicial and police cooperation instruments available,


Stressing the importance of strengthening cooperation with the EU agencies relevant for the area of justice and home affairs, such as EUROJUST, EUROPOL and FRONTEX,


Stating the commitment to implement the SEE 2020 Strategy and to continue streamlining and developing bilateral as well as multilateral JHA cooperation within the framework of the South-East European Cooperation Process,


Acknowledging the RCC role as the SEECP operational tool for promoting, guiding and monitoring regional cooperation and supporting the EU integration process of SEE participating states,


Welcoming the RCC activities in cooperation with the countries in the region and other partners in the preparation of thorough gap analysis of regional cooperation in the field of migration management and fighting serious and organized crime,


Recognizing the importance of national and regional approach being fully integrated and mutually reinforced and of engaging in concrete and effective regional cooperation, addressing specific problems at national and regional level; and further recognizing that tailor-based approach is needed at the national level as the situation and statuses are very different from country to country,


Taking note of the conclusions of the three major regional events organized by the SEECP Romanian Chairmanship in Office: Regional Conference on promoting best practices in fighting high-level corruption and on asset recovery, organized in Bucharest between April 7 and 8, 2014, as well as the IX-th Conference of the Regulatory Judicial Authorities of the Balkan Area (Constitutive General Assembly of the Balkan and Euro – Mediterranean Network of Councils for the Judiciary), which took place in Bucharest, on May 11-13, 2013, and of the Meeting of the presidents of the Councils for the Judiciary from the SEECP participating states, which took place in Bucharest, on May 13, 2013,


Welcoming the ongoing process of preparation and approval of the Regional Action Plan in the area of justice by the six countries participating in the implementation of the SEE 2020 Strategy as an important contribution to the overall efforts aiming at improving good governance in SEE,


Have agreed to:

  • Pay particular attention to synchronising SEECP regional cooperation objectives to the priorities identified and set at EU level in the field of justice and home affairs,
  • Enhance the judicial cooperation in criminal, civil and commercial matters in the region, using all relevant existing instruments of mutual legal assistance, including for joint investigation teams and measures for asset recovery purposes,
  • Foster the stronger regional frameworks for tackling corruption and organised crime; ensure a sustained track record of substantial results in this field based on efficient, effective and unbiased investigation, prosecution and adjudications in cases at all levels, including high level corruption[1],
  • Take appropriate measures aimed at further developing the capacity of law-enforcement and criminal justice bodies to investigate and prosecute organized crime and corruption offences,
  • Facilitate joint financial investigations as an essential investigative tool and consider asset recovery as a major priority and objective of the judiciary in the fight against corruption and organized crime in the region,
  • Strengthen the capacity of criminal justice authorities to address the challenges of cybercrime and electronic evidence, including the confiscation of proceeds from online crime; to this effect, seek partnerships with the Cybercrime Programme Office of the Council of Europe in Bucharest, Romania,
  • Allocate adequate resources for implementing efficient preventive mechanisms and programs, as well as proactive measures to enhance institutional transparency and good governance,
  • Make best use of the already developed regional networks and initiatives, such as SEEPAG, SELEC, RAI,
  • Support the independence and integrity of the judiciary as a prerequisite for building the trust of citizens in justice, taking also into account the fundamental role of the courts,
  • Enhance the efforts of the states in the region in order to increase cooperation in all areas related to home affairs,
  • Reinforce regional cooperation on migration and border management, at strategic and operational level; a more coordinated action amongst EU Member States, EU agencies as Frontex and EASO, international partners and countries in the region might be considered to enhance progress in this field,
  • Further consider the wide range of regional challenges related to illegal migration and border management as well as the abuse of legal migration channels, including international protection procedures, have external impact on the EU and SEE security,
  • Consider the enhancement of the exchange of judicial information with EU Member States, in particular through EUROJUST and conclude cooperation agreements with the latter,
  • Further develop cooperation with EUROPOL and FRONTEX, to improve situational awareness and response capacity at regional level for the benefit of the safety and security of our citizens,
  • Identify the best ways for a coordinated approach of migration policies, according to the pre-accession policies of the European Union in the area,


  • Build upon the most effective ways of preventing and countering trafficking in human beings, and encourage an enhanced communication between our states and the organizations acting in this field,


  • Commit ourselves to being innovative and proactive in responding to future challenges to the security in the region.


The principles and measures listed above will serve as guidance to further strengthen regional cooperation, in a pragmatic manner, aiming at the adoption of a comprehensive SEE Regional Action Plan addressing key areas such as fighting corruption and organized crime, migration management, asset recovery.






[1] The delegation of the Hellenic Republic requested that the statement should be considered completed with the following wording „… with the protection of personal data and the respect of the secrecy of investigations”.