«Address by Senator Felice Besostri, Chairman in Office of the CEI Parliamentary Assembly Dear President, Speakers of the Parliaments of the South East European Co-operation Process, Representatives of the International organizations, dear friends, I want to thank the Macedonia Parliament and its President for the invitation. I am very honored to represent here the Parliamentary Assembly of the Central European Initiative. The Parliamentary Dimension of the CEI has grown in the last years and I hope that, during the 2001, the year of the Italian chairmanship we can consolidate the process and foster the parliamentary cooperation a fundamental part of the foreign and international relations. In a democratic state parliaments are the highest representative of the citizens and also the expression of the pluralism of society. A democratic elected parliament should represent a community with multiethnic composition of the population: democracy is the only instrument able to allow balancing the multipartism with the needs of a stable majority. Democracy doesn’t exist and live without enemies: the ethnic and political extremist groups, the organized crime, the economic groups which link with the corruption practices and all kinds of illegal trafficking. A democracy is weaker when isolated, when the assistance of the richer democracies is insufficient, when democratic states are not able to cooperate among them. For this reason it is important to strengthen the cooperation’s for a: all the cooperation fora as this one and the Central European Initiative. This co-operation within the CEI, is now more important than ever, because one of its member, the Republic of Macedonia, is under the danger of the terrorist attack of ethnic extremists, mainly based across the border. In this area, the ethnic minorities must not be considered a problem anymore, but, on the contrary, a resource, a bridge between states, for the communities living across the border. After the cases of Krajina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Metohya, we cannot accept the prevailing of the principle of ethnical state, instead of the model of a pluralistic nation which respects, protects and develops its minority. Ethnic homogenous state asks for important changes of the borders with a consequence of a new tragical period of instability. On the contrary we need stability: only stability can assure economic development and co-operation for the states of the region. The European Union should give a great contribution to this development and the enlargement process of the EU must be a factor helping a larger European integration, avoiding every de facto creation of new divisions in Europe, as it is stated in paragraph 4 of the Final document approved by the CEI Parliamentary Committee which met in Rome, March 9, 2001, and which is available here in the Conference. The CEI is the only sub-regional international organization where the countries coming from the Central and eastern part of Europe are in an overwhelming majority: 15 upon 17 member states. So it can be considered the proper forum for representing their own interests in the way of the approaching to the European integration. Next year in 2002, Macedonia is going to hold the Presidency of CEI, and I am sure, it will be a good opportunity for this country to demonstrate its vital role in increasing the cooperation process in the Balkan. Thanks for the opportunity to speak in this distinguished Conference.