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.
Currently they are fifteen nations as a full SEDM member.
One nation is SEDM observer
The 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 OSCE).
A number of projects are carried out within the context of SEDM-CC:
– Military Support to WMD Counter-Proliferation, Border Security and Counter Terrorism (CBSC) Project;
– South Eastern Europe Simulation Network (SEESIM)
– Interconnection of Military Hospitals (IMIHO);
– Cooperation on Defense Industries, Research and Technology (SEEDIRET);
– South Eastern Europe Military Education Cooperation (SEMEC)
Among the SEDM initiatives, one that carries the most significant prominence is the Multinational Peace Force South-Eastern Europe (MPFSEE), established with the MPFSEE Agreement signed in Skopje on the 26th of September 1998 and also known as SEEBRIG. The initiative involves a brigade which consists of a land force that will act in an on-call basis and has its Nucleus Staff already in action in its Headquarters.
Participant nations in the MPFSEE Initiative are nations that have military personnel appointed for SEEBRIG HQ and provide units whenever a certain deployment materializes. They are Na-1, Na-2, Na-3, Na-5, Na-6, and Na-7. The political and military consultations as well as the decision making process of MPFSEE are carried out in high-level meetings and in meetings of the Politico-Military Steering Committee (PMSC). The member nations to PMSC are the above-mentioned participant nations whereas observer nations are Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine and USA.
On the other hand, efforts of providing SEEBRIG with capabilities of participating in disaster relief operations are presently evolving within the framework of a PMSC Project called Employment of SEEBRIG in Disaster Relief Operations (SEDRO).