The South East Europe regional programme was created under the auspices of the Stability Pact for a region weakened by conflict but endowed with rich resources and dynamism. The mandate, signed in 2000 by nine SEE governments, recognised private-sector development and international co-operation as cornerstones for the revitalisation of the region.
Since then, governments, business leaders and civil society have worked together in co-operation with the OECD to meet economic challenges, including weathering the global economic and financial crisis and preparing for EU accession.
Indeed, the SEE regional programme has supported the region to design and implement reforms to foster private sector development and competitiveness, attract more and better investment and raise living standards.
The SEE regional programme has had considerable impact helping SEE economies in identifying reform priorities, fostering implementation and bringing them closer to both OECD and EU standards. The programme has also facilitated the development of mutually beneficial bilateral relations with economies from the region.
The programme has also been instrumental in building institutional capacity in the region, facilitating technical and high-level dialogue and transferring OECD knowledge across the various policy areas. The current competitiveness work stream, for instance, includes co-operation with 12 OECD bodies and directorates and draws on OECD instruments applied in member states.
The SEE regional programme’s policy analysis and diagnosis is also leveraged by its partners and feeds into strategic documents such as the European Commission’s annual Progress Reports or international development agencies’ resource prioritisation.