One of the first initiatives committed to peace building and prosperity in the Western Balkans was the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe, established in 1999 in Cologne. The Stability Pact was signed in order to continuously contribute prevention of conflicts in this part of Europe. The main activities of the Stability Pact were assistance in Euro-Atlantic integration for the countries of Western Balkans. http://www.stabilitypact.org/
As substantial progress on the ground was achieved over the years and political, economic and social conditions improved throughout the region, the internationally led approach driving the Pact at the beginning started to become obsolete, and the need for more regionally owned framework to reflect the increased maturity of the region arised. This was the main motive in launching the transformation of the Stability Pact into its successor organisation, the Regional Cooperation Council.
The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) was officially launched at the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Sofia, in 2008. Through regionally owned and led framework, the RCC focuses on promotion and enhancement of regional cooperation in South East Europe (SEE) and supports European and Euro-Atlantic integration of the aspiring countries. The RCC provides operational capacities to and works under the political guidance of the SEECP. The work of the RCC focuses on the priority areas of economic and social development, energy and infrastructure, justice and home affairs, security cooperation, building human capital, and parliamentary cooperation as an overarching themes. The organization develops and maintains close working relationships with all relevant actors and stakeholders in these areas, such as governments, international organizations, international financial institutions, regional organizations, civil society and the private sector. http://www.rcc.int/
There are also many other initiatives in area of regional cooperation which gave significant contribution to the regional integration. One of them is CEFTA Central European Free Trade Agreement http://www.cefta2006.com/.
CEFTA is a trade agreement signed between the South-Eastern European countries in 2006. The agreement brings together a number of countries which are yet to be admitted to the EU including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo*. The initial aim in formation of CEFTA was to assist the member countries to mobilize their efforts in order to integrate Western European institutions. The organization was meant to foster democracy and free-market economy in the region.
Besides these, very significant forms of cooperation in the region are Central Europe Initiative (CEI), Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), and Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (AII), all of them committed to achieve closer cooperation and partnership among countries of Eastern Europe.
The Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (AII) was established at the Summit on Development and Security on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, held in Ancona (Italy) in 2000 and attended by the Heads of States and Governments of Italy, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece and Slovenia. The main outcome from the conference was “Ancona Declaration“ devoted to strengthening regional cooperation, promoting political and economic stability, thus creating a solid base for the process of European integration. The Initiative was later extended to the federative union of Serbia and Montenegro, and after the referendum in Montenegro both states remained AII participating countries. Today, the AII counts eight members: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. http://www.aii-ps.org/
Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) was founded on June 1992, in Istanbul by signing the Summit Declaration and the Bosphorus Statament. It came into existence as a unique and promising model of multilateral political and economic initiative aimed at fostering interaction and harmony among the member states, as well as to ensure peace, stability and prosperity encouraging friendly and good-neighbourly relations in the Black Sea region. http://www.bsec-organization.org
The CEI is an intergovernmental forum promoting political, economic, cultural and scientific cooperation among its member states. Its core mission is: regional cooperation for European Integration. In this context, the aim of the political cooperation is to supply the countries and their institutions with a flexible, pragmatic platform for regional cooperation, while focusing on their preparation to a future accession to the European Union. The CEI is actively engaged in supporting projects in various areas of cooperation, also through the mobilisation of financial resources providing greater possibilities for studying, financing and executing national and international projects. Moreover, the CEI is in a unique position to act as a bridge between macro-regions, such as the Baltic, Danube, Adriatic and Black Sea Regions. http://www.cei.int/