Welcome to South-Eastern Europe Defence Ministerial - Coordination Committee (SEDM-CC) and Political Military Steering Committee (PMSC) portal
Turkish Chairmanship 2015-2017
Secretariat of the South-Eastern Europe Defense Ministerial Process (SEDM) Coordination Committee (CC) And Politico-Military Steering Committee (PMSC)
H.E. HÜSEYİN MÜFTÜOĞLU
Almost 20 years ago the countries of the Southeast Europe have set to sail towards a new horizon as the region had gone through a major political turbulence at the beginning of 1990s. This was when the Southeast Europe Defence Ministerial Process or mostly known by its acronym SEDM entered into the history of this region.
In retrospect it was inconceivable to assume that this region would become an example for cooperation and stability in a very short period of time. The vision to turn this region an island of peace whereby security and prosperity are shared by all the nations has proven to be the right one. Today almost all countries in the region are members of NATO and the European Union or aspiring to become one in the near future. Undoubtedly, the Southeast Europe Defence Ministerial Process has played an important role in the last two decades to strengthen the ties among the nations of this region. Likewise, SEEBRIG has become the testament to the determination of the regional countries to cooperate in the military realm and commit their forces to a common cause.
Turkey will chair this Process for the next two years. I am proud to be appointed as the Chairman of SEDM-CC/PMSC. I look forward to working very closely with all parties with a view to carrying forward the ideals of this initiative which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. Given the emergence of new security threats and new challenges I believe that it is high time for the member states to agree on a new vision which will help this process to keep its importance in the decades to come.
SEDM-CC/PMSC Secretariat Structure
The Priority Goals of the Turkish SEDM-CC/PMSC Chairmanship
- Strengthening political-military cooperation, good neighborly relations and enhancing the stability and security in SEE.
- Displaying every effort to make SEEBRIG interoperable and deployable, and facilitate its tasked in peace support and disaster relief operations in South Eastern Europe and beyond.
- Providing better use of SEEBRIG by exploiting all opportunities for the training of the HQ personnel along with the allocated Units to improve preparedness for participation in operations.
- Finding solutions for fulfilling personnel shortfalls in the HQ, especially following the decision of withdrawal of Na-4 (Italy).
- Strengthening regional defense capabilities as well as cooperation through collective efforts and promotion of mutual understanding, confidence and security building measures.
- Continuing the efforts of the previous Chairmanships in order to establish functional mechanisms of cooperation with the international organizations (UN, NATO, EU, and OSCE).
- Ensuring further enlargement of SEDM process by aiming to promote the member states to keep the door open for new aspirants to the MPFSEE initiative and SEDM process in the region.
- Fostering the Euro-Atlantic integration processes of the SEDM member nations by giving support to non-NATO SEDM nations for NATO membership.
- Revising MPFSEE Agreement to simplify the general procedures related to the conduct of SEEBRIG activities and to accelerate the decision-making process. Other issues should be regulated by MOUs to make them modifiable more easily and quickly without excessive internal national procedures.
What is SEDM?
History and Objectives
The SEDM Process in brief
In consequence of the tumultuous experiences of the last decade and following NATO-led missions that aimed to build as well as to maintain peace and security in South-East Europe, a consideration for a necessity of a consistent regional cooperation mechanism in this region emerged in the international society. Hence came forward the South-East Europe Defense Ministerial (SEDM) Process, which began with a meeting of Ministers of Defense held in Tirana in March 1996, first of a series of meetings that convened the Ministers of Defense, Deputy Ministers of Defense and Deputy Chiefs of Defense of nations of South-East Europe. The activities undertaken within the context of the SEDM Process have developed the security of South-East Europe by three major ways: promoting regional cooperation and good neighborly relations, strengthening regional Defense capabilities as well as cooperation through collective efforts and last but not least, establishing links facilitating integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.
Main objective of the SEDM process is strengthening understanding and politico-military cooperation in the region in order to enhance the stability and security in SEE.
- Promotion of mutual understanding, confidence and cooperation among member countries
- Contribution of SEDM and Multinational Peace Force of the SEE (MPFSEE) / South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG) to regional and worldwide security and stability
- Enhancement of the SEEBRIG interoperability and capability to deploy in peace support missions
- Facilitation of SEEBRIG employment in peace support operations
- Promotion of Euro-Atlantic integration processes of SEDM member nations
- Implementation and development of the SEDM projects
- Enlargement of the SEDM process with new members
- Cooperation with International Organizations (UN, EU, NATO and OCSE)
Since the MPFSEE Agreement was signed on 26 September 1998 the SEDM, with its constituent member nations, has achieved considerable progress. To date the South Eastern Europe Defence Ministerial (SEDM) has had a role to play in strengthening peace and stability in the region of South Eastern Europe and importantly has contributed to peace efforts further afield. During the past thirteen years the SEDM forum has been effective, with dialogue aimed at building a more secure and prosperous region through close regional co-operation and sharing common aims between member countries and observer nations. SEDM has achieved an internationally recognised image, including being held as an excellent model of mutual co-operation among States that are committed to strengthen international peace and stability. The development of those basic values is enshrined in such internationally renowned organisations, such as the UN, NATO, the EU and the OSCE. We have also created a military instrument, SEEBRIG, which enables us to work more closely together, to improve our joint defence capabilities, to assist in joining larger organisations such as NATO and the EU, which will strengthen Euro-Atlantic ties. In this vein could be suitable the proposal to stop the command rotation that takes place every four years in order to offer further possibilities to share professional expertise and to strengthen the already-existing cooperation.
MPFSEE / SEDM Outline Concept
Nevertheless, despite our achievement this is not the time for inactivity; further efforts should be made to develop and progress further this initiative. The MPFSEE / SEDM is no different – if we stand still our current structure will lack purpose, direction and effectiveness. We must do all we can, within the resources available, to co-ordinate ongoing regional security initiatives, promote the employment of SEEBRIG in conflict prevention and other peace support operations and to assist in the international community’s wider peace efforts. For those risks that we can predict, we must act both to reduce the likelihood of their occurring and develop the resilience to reduce their impact. Furthermore, the only way to improve the capacity of conflict prevention could be the wider integration into the useful partnership on a regional or international basis. Should we seek to undertake security tasks only within the boundaries of our countries or should we assist the wider international security effort to assure peace and stability inside and outside our region? Alliances and partnerships are a fundamental part of our approach to defence and security. We have built a constructive relationship across South Eastern Europe and we must maintain this to ensure peace and the conditions for mutual growth. However, we can go further by seeking greater international engagement that is essential to our future security that is based prioritarily on the Euro Atlantic structures as the bedrock of our defence, but also with an outward-facing EU that promotes security and prosperity. These deepened relationships, from which we can share capabilities, technologies and programmes, aim to ensure that collective resources can go further. Much of what we want to achieve can be fulfilled through SEEBRIG. However, we need to determine what we want SEEBRIG to do and, importantly, what we want it to become in the future. By utilising SEEBRIG in this way it can assist members willing to attain and maintain Euro-Atlantic standards, which are necessary to meet and maintain Euro-Atlantic and European aspirations. Importantly, we should also strive to raise the profile of SEDM and SEEBRIG, both internationally and nationally, so that communities understand what we do, why we do it and what benefits are derived from such collective efforts.