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SEE countries to cooperate in fighting corruption

Zagreb, 13 April 2007 - A major step towards improving efficacy and regional ownership of anticorruption activities in South Eastern Europe was made today when SEE ministers of Justice signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by which they commit to funding the Regional Secretariat of the Anticorruption Initiative (SPAI-RSLO), based in Sarajevo, and to improving its governance mechanisms by establishing the post of a Chair-in-Office of the Initiative.

Speaking at the meeting of South East European Co-operation Process Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs today (13 April), the Special Co-ordinator of the Stability Pact Erhard Busek stressed the importance of regional co-operation in the fight against corruption and noted that the signing of the MoU demonstrates that SEE countries recognise the added value of the Anticorruption initiative.

SC Busek also underlined that the fight against corruption will be one of the six priority areas for the Regional Co-operation Council, that will take over from the Stability Pact that by mid 2008.

The MoU will consolidate the capacity of the SPAI-RSLO to act as the South East European Anticorruption Resource Centre and to serve as a focal point for regional anticorruption co-operation through the facilitation of best practices and the dissemination of lessons learnt. In order to achieve this, each party of the MoU will contribute with a minimum amount of 24.000 Euros per year to the operational and programmatic budget of the Anticorruption initiative.

Furthermore, the MoU recalls the importance of increased national and regional efforts within the filed of fighting corruption for achieving the objective of EU membership, a common goal of all SEE countries.

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