Editor   10 Jul 2012   E-tools

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The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) has as its mission to promote mutual cooperation and European and Euro-Atlantic integration of South East Europe in order to inspire development in the region for the benefit of its people. With its Secretariat headquartered in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, RCC was officially launched as the successor of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe in February 2008.

As a focal point for regional cooperation in South East Europe, its key role is to generate and coordinate developmental projects of a wider, regional character, to the benefit of each individual member, and to create an appropriate political climate susceptible to their implementation.

At the invitation of the Central European Initiative (CEI) - the oldest and largest intergovernmental forum for regional cooperation in Europe – DiploFoundation visited Sarajevo recently to provide a two-day seminar to assist RCC staff in addressing their challenges with e-tools, in order to broaden the organisation’s reach and promote all-inclusiveness on the part of its members.

Over the two days, Diplo introduced the main e-tools of relevance for e-RCC; presented experience of international and regional organisations in using e-diplomacy tools (e.g. types of tools, main success stories, failures and organisational challenges,including the experiences of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) with remote participation within the UN system) and demonstrated its own experience in developing and using e-tools for diplomatic services and international organisations.

The two-day seminar concluded with a wealth of information – some old, some new, but all of it now looked at from a different perspective. In her opening address, Jelica Minic, Deputy RCC Secertary-General, noted: Developing e-RCC is a very important dimension of our work. It’s important that we keep up with technology to communicate and to increase electronic communication among regional initiatives and national governments as to the value of RCC’s work. We are happy to learn from CEI and DiploFoundation, to gain from their experience and to create a platform to develop this cooperation even after this particular project has finished. RCC can benefit from specialist activity and follow-up of what is beginning with this seminar today.

The sharing took place; the learning took place; what remains now is to build on these scenarios to create an e-RCC toolkit which includes a set of e-participation and e-engagement tools, policy guidelines and procedures which will be piloted by the RCC and then rolled out to similar organisations in the region. The e-RCC concept will be built around concrete ideas and policy challenges that need to be addressed by the RCC Secretariat in the future years: the starting point will be the concerted design of 3 to 5 proposals for flagship project ideas.

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