SEECP Ministerial Meeting 2016

Zagreb, 2 December 2016 - This year Croatia took over the Chairmanship of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) and its corresponding programme and priority areas. Under the Croatian Chairmanship, SEECP Ministerial Meeting: SME Competitiveness and Growth – Zagreb Charter on Lifelong Entrepreneurial Learning was organised and hosted jointly by the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Foreign and European affairs, the Croatian Chamber of Economy (CCE) and the South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (SEECEL).

The Chairperson of the meeting was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Ms Martina Dalić, with participation of EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Ms Elzbieta Bienkowska, the Ministers of economy and entrepreneurship and/or their Envoys, representatives of Chambers of commerce and Parliaments of SEECP member states and also representatives of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Training Foundation (ETF).

Ms Dalić took the floor and said the main objectives of the new Croatian government gear towards the growth and development of the economy and job creation, with entrepreneurship as the centre of all these objectives. Competition in the global market is strengthened and in such an environment enterprises must have an increasing role, with entrepreneurial learning high on our list of priorities.

Ms Bienkowska stated that all of the participants have mutual goal and that is to find new solutions to old problems of Europe, which includes more growth, more jobs and investment, with special emphasis on SMEs with education in a key role. That way we develop skills and knowledge for the new generations of entrepreneurs from the earliest stage of education.

The aim of the Ministerial meeting was to strengthen economic cooperation and competitiveness of small businesses in the Region through the presentation of the Zagreb Charter on Lifelong Learning for Entrepreneurship. The Charter emphasizes lifelong learning as one of the key content of public policy for strengthening competitiveness, smart and inclusive growth and new jobs in the countries of SEECP and is currently under the consultation process among SEECP countries to be adopted in January 2017. SEECEL, as a regional professional body for human resource development and lifelong learning for entrepreneurship as a key competence, was there not only in a role of a host but as a presenter of Charter´s goals and principles as well.

SEECEL expresses gratitude to all stakeholders involved in the preparation of this meeting but also for their continuous support in boosting entrepreneurial learning agenda.