Welcome to South-Eastern Europe Defence Ministerial - Coordination Committee (SEDM-CC) and Political Military Steering Committee (PMSC) portal
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.
Message from Bucharest Chairmanship
Secretariat of the South-Eastern Europe Defense Ministerial Process Coordination Committee (SEDM-CC) And Politico-Military Steering Committee (PMSC)
Message from Chairperson, Mrs. Simona COJOCARU, State Secretary for Defence Policy, Planning and International Relations, Romanian Ministry of National Defence
As Romania takes over the rotational Chairmanship of the South-Eastern Europe Defence Ministerial process in July 2023, the regional instability, generated by Russia’s war of aggression over Ukraine, represents a challenge that we can overcome only together. This is the third time when Bucharest assumes the SEDM Chairmanship and we are ready and determined to continue our joint efforts of further enhancing the security and stability in South-Eastern Europe.
The SEDM Process can be instrumental in strengthening regional cooperation aimed at developing regional stability. It provides a valuable political and military framework, it shapes mentality and promotes cooperation among states which share common security objectives. It lies in our responsibility to make the best use of it. It is time to boost the potential of this initiative and the only way is together.
As a NATO and EU member, Romania views SEDM as a natural expression of neighbors working together in order to increase their common security prospects, in a complementary approach with the above, sharing the very specific features of our regional security for a much needed comprehensive awareness.
The Romanian Chairmanship will continue to work to enhance the effectiveness and relevance of the SEDM initiative as an important regional defence cooperation platform. Romania will constantly support the efforts of SEDM’s adaptation in order to allow the initiative to remain fit for its purpose.
To this end, I would like to assure you that Bucharest’s Chairmanship strongly aims to enhance the South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG)’s interoperability and capabilities in order to promote regional security and offer a common regional effort that can be integrated into NATO’s and EU’s initiatives in the area. We aim to raise to the importance of the 25 years that the signing of the Multinational Peace Force South-Eastern Europe (MPFSEE) Agreement is celebrating in 2023.
The Coordination Committee’s management of all projects within the framework of SEDM and the Political-Military Steering Committee’s ability to provide policy guidance for SEEBRIG functionality will be critical to achieving Bucharest’s Chairmanship objectives during my tenure.
Our Chairmanship slogan: Resilience, Commitment, Stability is the inspiration resulted from two tenures of the SEDM rotational presidency (2001-203, 2013-2015) and hosting of the SEEBRIG HQ in Romania (2003-2007), from the work in practice throughout the years, but also combined with the lessons that international community had to learn during the dramatic changes of the international security realm of 2022. Romania is taking up the Chairmanship of SEDM in challenging times for the security and stability of South-Eastern Europe, resilience being instrumental in complementing the commitment to achieve and preserve stability.
The priorities of Bucharest Chairmanship are, as follows:
- increase the profile and relevance of the SEDM by reviving the initiative through attracting more active engagement in the existent projects and identifying new ones in fields relevant to the current strategic context;
- further enhancing the project-oriented approach of the initiative and ensuring continuity and substantial progress in the implementation of the set objectives;
- further developing the political-military dialogue within the initiative with the aim to generate purposeful and practical ideas to contribute to the strengthening of the SEDM initiative;
- increasing the South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG)’s capabilities with the aim of participating in missions and operations, including by accelerating the entering into force of the Sixth Additional Protocol to the MPFSEE Agreement, which will lead to increasing SEEBRIG interoperability;
- substantiating the interaction of SEDM with NATO, the EU, UN, and OSCE, by promoting SEDM projects, objectives and tangible proposals for cooperation;
- preserving the open door policy of the SEDM, with the double benefit of strengthening the initiative and a result-oriented cooperation to the benefit of the individual states;
- supporting, in SEDM context, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and the Western Balkan states on their path to European integration.