We, the undersigned representatives of the Centre for Politics and Euro-Atlantic Partnership, the ALPHA Centre and the Center for International Relations, based in three countries of the Western Balkans: Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina from the first “Regional Euro-Atlantic Initiative - REA Initiative” conference held in Novi Sad, February 6/7 2008, are sending the Western Balkans’ first regional answer that new Euro-Atlantic perspectives and new regional “Open Door” policy could be launched as a way of overcoming the obstacles in the regional and especially Serbia’s way joining Euro-Atlantic community.
We declare that the city of Novi Sad will be a symbolical centre of the REA Initiative.
Taking into account the importance of long term stability in the Western Balkans REA Initiative embodies the vital partnership between governmental as well as non-governmental institutions and organizations of our three countries. REA Initiative is founded on the principles of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights. Like Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Montenegro joined Partnership for Peace (PfP) and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, November 2006.
Having in mind that the enhancement of the network of cooperative activities developed through PfP should reduce the sense of insecurity in the Balkan region we reaffirm our stance that full Euro-Atlantic integration is the only way for the region to attain sustained stability, security, and economic development.
There can be no security in the Western Balkans without development, and no development without security. We have to make endovours to upgrade and strenghten to the maximum extent possible involvement of all regional partners who would be able to leave behind them the divisions of the past and seek together to fulfill the values of: freedom, peace, prosperity and development, through a broad political dialogue.
The REA Initiative’s role of the partnership between the organizations and institutions from the region, best equipped to act as promoters of freedom and development is a vital and unique one. It is a role that requires these institutions and organizations to act as a focus for convergence on the path to prosperity, cooperation, dialogue and the dignity of the individual.
The REA Initiative will promote efforts towards the further development of peaceful and friendly international relations by strengthening regional cooperation, by opening up for consideration those partnership tools currently available to PfP/ EAPC countries to our partners and by promoting conditions of stability and security.
The signatory parts are launching the REA Initiative in order to:
a. trigger broad regional debate and establish the network of public, government and non-governmental institutions and organizations in promoting Euro-Atlantic values and standards by organizing regular conferences in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia gathering the authorities from the region;
b. make framework of cost-benefit assessment analyzing the dynamics of benefits the region is getting in the processes of Euro-Atlantic integration;
c. address political measures that could be taken in order to promote new security identity of the Western Balkans;
d. developing of a new security identity of the Western Balkans in order to maintain confidence and change the attitudes of the ordinary citizens to the Euro-Atlantic community’s norms, values and standards by generating an in-depth understanding of complex and interrelated, political and economic challenges and demands the region is facing with.
Novi Sad, February 7, 2008