SEEPAG Overview
SEEPAG Members
SEEPAG Structure
SEEPAG Chairperson
SEEPAG Secretariat
Signing of the SEEPAG Basic Documents, December 14-15, 2005
SEEPAG Conferences
SEEPAG Other events
SEEPAG Picture Gallery
Declaration of the prosecutor representatives of the first meeting of the South East European Prosecutor Advisory Group
General Guidelines
Recommendations for Establishing the Prosecutorial Focal Points
General Legal Documents
Legal Documents on Different Topics
Organized Crime
Anti Drugs
Human Trafficking
Cybercrime
Financial Crimes
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Links to websites of national institutions and other organizations.
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General Guidelines

CHAPTER I | General Principles and Definitions

Article 1

  1. 1The Prosecutors General of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Republic of Serbia, Republic of Montenegro, Slovenia and Turkey, recognizing the threat posed to the their security by serious forms of transnational organized crime, and desiring to foster greater cooperation and coordination of criminal investigations and prosecutions, consent through their delegates to the creation of the South East European Prosecutors Advisory Group (hereinafter referred to as the "SEEPAG"), as recognized in the Declaration of the SEEPAG adopted on December 12, 2003, (hereinafter referred to as the "Declaration").
  2. The Prosecutors General of the states participating in the SEEPAG created the SEEPAG to reinforce the fight against the serious forms of crime in South Eastern Europe.
  3. The main functions of the SEEPAG shall be to provide operational support and assistance to each other and to relevant law enforcement agencies in trans-border criminal investigations and prosecutions, and to provide advice, assistance, and guidance on criminal policy and legal issues related to law enforcement matters in the region if it is so permitted by national legislation and binding international treaties of the states participating in the SEEPAG.
  4. The SEEPAG shall operate in accordance with the provisions of the present General Guidelines (hereinafter referred to as "the Guidelines") which by no means create legal obligations in the domestic legislation or international obligations binding on the states participating in the SEEPAG.

Article 2

  1. The SEEPAG shall consist of one delegate from each state participating in the SEEPAG.
  2. To the extent practicable, the Prosecutor General of each state participating in the SEEPAG shall assign one delegate to the SEEPAG on a permanent basis.

CHAPTER II | Functions

Article 3

  1. In performance of its functions, as set out in Chapter I, Article 1(3) above, the SEEPAG shall include the following:
    1. Define, implement and update the SEEPAG Strategic Plan ;
    2. Define and update the SEEPAG Action Plan annually;
    3. Determine the concept and structure of, and implement, the South East European Network of Prosecutorial Focal Points seeking to maintain cooperation and improve cooperation through the Network;
    4. Provide for operational support and assistance to the SECI Regional Center for Combating Trans-Border Crime to facilitate more efficient exchange of information and evidence, and to track the status of SECI Center related cases through the criminal justice system in accordance with binding international agreements and domestic legislation of the states participating in the SEEPAG;
    5. Promote cooperation and better relations among the prosecutor offices in the region, and between the prosecutor offices and police, customs and other law enforcement entities within the region.
    6. Exchange views and best practices in areas of common interest regarding cooperation and the enhancement of criminal justice measures within the region;
    7. Discuss, review and develop recommendations regarding future measures to combat serious crime;
    8. Study areas where reforms are necessary and make recommendations to the appropriate government entities based upon the firm operational experience of the states participating in the SEEPAG, if such action is permitted by their domestic laws;
    9. Streamline the mutual legal assistance process within the region in accordance with binding international agreements and domestic legislation;
    10. Determine priorities in approaching types of cases through regional cooperation if it is permitted by the domestic law of the Members States;
    11. Issue recommendations, legal opinions, guidance, and provide consultation and assistance in relevant legal issues related to law enforcement

Article 4 2

  1. The official language of the SEEPAG shall be English.
  2. The full body of the SEEPAG shall meet at least twice a year in a place agreed upon at the previous meeting.
  3. The SEEPAG shall call upon the assistance of experts and other international bodies, as necessary, in the performance of its activities.
  4. The SEEPAG may invite representatives of relevant international agencies, as well as other officials from states participating in SEEPAG, to attend its meetings, if needed.
  5. Observers may attend SEEPAG meetings, unless otherwise decided,

Article 5

  1. The SEEPAG may establish working groups, comprised of members of the SEEPAG, to assist and advance the work of the SEEPAG on specific issues.
  2. The working groups may hold meetings and collaborate on projects between meetings of the full body of the SEEPAG, and call upon the assistance of experts and other international bodies, to advance the goals of the working group, as defined by the SEEPAG.
  3. The working groups may consult with individual members of the SEEPAG and disseminate materials and proposals for comments of the members of the SEEPAG between meetings of the full body of the SEEPAG.
  4. All the proposals and results of such working groups shall be submitted to the SEEPAG for consideration and/or decision.

Article 6

  1. The SEEPAG shall have a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, for one-year term, selected from the members of the SEEPAG.
  2. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall be elected at the first SEEPAG meeting after adoption of the Guidelines. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall rotate among the members of the SEEPAG alphabetically by country
  3. The Chairperson shall open, chair, and close the SEEPAG meetings, moderate the debates, and perform such other functions assigned by the SEEPAG.
  4. The Vice-Chairperson shall assist the Chairperson; fulfill the obligations assigned by the Chairperson, and sit in the place of the Chairperson as needed.
  5. The Vice-Chairperson shall be primarily responsible for coordinating the activities of the working groups.

Article 73

  1. The SEEPAG may deem it is necessary to have a specially selected Secretary.
  2. If funds are available, the Secretary may be hired and retained under such conditions as the full body of the SEEPAG shall agree.
  3. The Secretary may attend and prepare the minutes for working group meetings.
  4. The Secretary shall work in close consultation with the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the SEEPAG.
  5. The Secretary shall possess such qualifications as established by the SEEPAG.
  6. The Secretary shall assist the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson in their administrative tasks related to the SEEPAG and maintain records of the minutes of the meetings. The Secretary shall circulate communications of the members concerning the items of the Agenda, prepare working documents and reports of the meetings, and perform the tasks assigned by the SEEPAG Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson

Article 8

  1. The Secretary shall, in coordination with the Chairperson, send a draft of the agenda for each upcoming meeting and prepare and send a summary of the previous meeting, as well as send all the relevant documents of each SEEPAG meeting to the delegates to the SEEPAG at least 30 days before each meeting.
  2. The delegates to the SEEPAG may comment upon and suggest changes to the draft agenda within 15 days before each meeting.
  3. The SEEPAG shall adopt the agenda at the beginning of each meeting.
  4. During such periods when the SEEPAG does not have a Secretary, the duties of the Secretary shall fall upon the Chairperson, who may delegate such duties as necessary, ensuring that person to whom this duty is delegated have the intrinsic knowledge and understanding of prosecutors' activities.

Article 9

  1. The SEEPAG shall approve any conclusions or decisions made at the closing of each meeting.
  2. Decisions and other documents adopted by the SEEPAG shall be attached to the minutes.
  3. Minutes of the previous meeting shall be amended as necessary and adopted by the SEEPAG at the opening of each meeting.
  4. Before the close of each meeting, the SEEPAG shall decide the date, provisional agenda and the place of the next meeting.
  5. The Secretary shall send the minutes, decisions and other documents adopted during each meeting to the delegates to the SEEPAG within 10 days from the close of each meeting.
  6. The Secretary shall store the minutes, decisions and other documents adopted by the SEEPAG for a term of 15 years, and transfer such materials to any new Secretary to the SEEPAG.

Article 10

  1. The SEEPAG may hold extra meetings, with the approval of the Chairperson, on the initiative of a member of the SEEPAG or Director of the SECI Center.
  2. The Secretary shall send the agenda and other documents related to any extra meetings to the delegates to the SEEPAG.
  3. All extra meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth within the Guidelines.

Article 11

  1. Each SEEPAG member may propose an issue for discussion and submit a proposal for decision.
  2. Each SEEPAG member may ask for an explanation with regard to the activities of the SEEPAG.

Article 12

  1. Deputies to the SEEPAG members may attend the meetings of the SEEPAG, and sit in the place of the delegate when necessary. When assistants attend in substitution of a delegate they shall participate as full voting delegates.
  2. The SEEPAG may decide to restrict meeting attendance to voting Member States.
  3. The Chairperson, having consulted the SEEPAG, may permit a person particularly qualified on matters for discussion to speak on specific points on the agenda.

 

CHAPTER IV | Quorum and Voting

Article 13

  1. The Chairperson shall organize the work of the SEEPAG in such a manner so as to enable all members of the SEEPAG to be present, in particular when important decisions are to be made. However, if it is not possible for all members to be present, three-fourths of the members shall constitute a quorum. In the absence of quorum, the SEEPAG may discuss and debate issues, but may not make any formal decisions.

Article 14

  1. 1. Each member of the SEEPAG has one vote in the SEEPAG.
  2. 2. The votes of the SEEPAG shall be open except when, as appropriate, the SEEPAG decides that voting shall be closed.
  3. 3. Closed votes shall be cast by paper ballots and shall be collected and counted by the Secretary with the assistance of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.
  4. 4. Votes may be "for" or "against". Member of the SEEPAG can abstain from voting.

Article 15

  1.   In the SEEPAG meetings the decisions are taken:
    1. Unanimously, when deciding
      • adoption or amendments to the General Guidelines, Strategic Plan and Recommendations for Establishing Prosecutorial Focal Points;
      • financial issues which burden states participating in the SEEPAG;
      • adoption of the agenda in cases that agenda includes issues requiring unanimous vote;
    2. With two-thirds majority, when deciding on
      • adoption of the Action Plan and its future amendments;
      • establishing working groups;
    3. With simple majority of all members, when taking any other decision.
  2. The decisions on adoption or amendments to the General Guidelines, Strategic Plan and Recommendations for Establishing Prosecutorial Focal Points, as well as financial issues which burden states participating in the SEEPAG shall be binding on those Prosecutors General Offices of the states participating in the SEEPAG which countersign adopted decisions.

CHAPTER V | Budget of SEEPAG

Article 16

  1. The budget of the SEEPAG shall be primarily based on funds, received by the SECI Center, and/or any other international organization, agency or governmental body willing to support the SEEPAG activities in co-ordination with the SECI Center. Protocols will be concluded between the SEEPAG and the donor.
  2. If the SEEPAG uses donor funds to compensate the Secretary, the Secretary's compensation shall be determined by the SEEPAG in consultation with the donor.
  3. Chairperson of the SEEPAG prepares Annual Report about the activities of the SEEPAG, as well as Annual Financial Report.

CHAPTER VI | Amendments

Article 17

  1. These Guidelines may be amended by the SEEPAG in accordance with the provisions set forth.
  2. Each SEEPAG delegate may propose amendments to these Guidelines and send them to the SEEPAG Secretary at least 30 days before the next SEEPAG meeting.

CHAPTER VI | Entry into Force

Article 18

The present Guidelines shall enter into force upon their adoption. By signing below, SEEPAG delegates agree to the application of the General Guidelines.


1The Article 1 Paragraph 1 of the General Guidelines is reproduced as it was amended at the 9th SEEPAG Conference on 14th of June in Istanbul, Turkey. The initial content of the paragraph 1 of the article was: "The Prosecutors General of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia and Turkey, recognizing the threat posed to the their security by serious forms of transnational organized crime, and desiring to foster greater cooperation and coordination of criminal investigations and prosecutions, consent through their delegates to the creation of the South East European Prosecutors Advisory Group (hereinafter referred to as the "SEEPAG"), as recognized in the Declaration of the SEEPAG adopted on December 12, 2003, (hereinafter referred to as the "Declaration")."

2The Article 4 Paragraph 2 of the General Guidelines is reproduced as it was amended at the 9th SEEPAG Conference on 14th of June in Istanbul, Turkey. The initial content of the paragraph 2 of the article was: "The full body of the SEEPAG shall meet at least three times per year in a place agreed upon at the previous meeting"

3The Article 7 of the General Guidelines is reproduced as it was amended at the 9th SEEPAG Conference on 14th of June in Istanbul, Turkey. The initial content of the article was: "(1) The SEEPAG may deem it is necessary to have a specially selected Secretary. According to these Guidelines the General Prosecutor's Office of the country chairing the SEEPAG shall appoint the Secretary to the SEEPAG, ensuring that appointed person have the intrinsic knowledge and understanding of prosecutors' activities. The Secretary will attend the meetings of the SEEPAG and prepare the minutes of the meetings. (2) The Secretary may attend and prepare the minutes for working group meetings. (3) The Secretary shall work in close consultation with the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the SEEPAG. (4) The Secretary shall possess such qualifications as established by the SEEPAG. (5) The Secretary shall assist the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson in their administrative tasks related to the SEEPAG and maintain records of the minutes of the meetings. The Secretary shall circulate communications of the members concerning the items of the Agenda, prepare working documents and reports of the meetings, and perform the tasks assigned by the SEEPAG Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.". Also deciding in favor of the amendments the national members of SEEPAG declared: "By approving Romania's proposal to amend Article 7 to the General Guidelines, the member states of SEEPAG do not accept any financial obligations to SEEPAG"