The "Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe" constitutes the central coordinative framework for reconstruction of the region in the wake of the conflicts that took place in the Balkans from 1991 to 1999. The pact is a political process intended to bring about improvement of general conditions in the region in all areas by means of internal reforms and increased cooperation and is based on the CSCE/OSCE process. Bodo Hombach is the EU Coordinator of the Stability Pact. He chairs the South-Eastern Europe Regional Table which, in turn, coordinates the activities of the Stability Pact's three Working Tables.
Despite a tight budget situation the German government has allocated DM 300 million for non-military funding in the context of the Stability Pact in the year 2000.
After the inaugural meeting of the South-Eastern Europe Regional Table on 16 September 1999 and the constituent meetings of the Working Tables in October 1999 the Stability Pact is now in the operative phase. The Regional Table has approved a work plan extending to the end of 2000.
The Working Tables in detail:
Table 1: "Democratisation and Human Rights" with four working groups: "Human Rights and Minorities", "Media", "Women's Issues" and "Good Governance". A British-German initiative is currently formulating a media charter for the region.
Table 2: "Economic Reconstruction, Development and Cooperation". The Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHT) have scheduled a meeting of the "Business Advisory Council" in Berlin on 19 January 2000 which is to underscore the importance of private sector activities in the region. A regional donors' conference jointly prepared by the EU Commission and the World Bank is scheduled to be held in February 2000.
Table 3: "Security Issues"
with subtables on "Internal Security" and "Military Security"
agreed on in Oslo on 14 October 1999.
In early October 1999 the SPD Group in the German Bundestag held a conference on the Stability Pact in Berlin with parliamentarians from South-Eastern Europe at which ways were discussed in which parliamentarians can exert influence on the work being done by the Tables. The German side also proposed the creation of twinning arrangements, particularly between German cities and cities governed by Serbian opposition parties. Thus far applications have been made by 12 German cities to take part in this project.
The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government is supporting the development of a free and pluralistic media landscape in the region with 64 individual media projects.
Further information, background reports and documents on the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe as well as on the development of the 1998/99 Kosovo conflict can be found in our archive at www.bundesregierung.de (German/English), in the "Archive" on the German Foreign Office website at www.auswaertiges-amt.de (German/English) as well as under the heading "Pressemitteilungen" on the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development at www.bmz.de (German only).
Information on the activities of the German Army in the KFOR context can be found under the heading "Sicherheitspolitik" on the website of the Federal Ministry of Defence at www.bundeswehr.de (German only).