I am pleased to provide you this Fiscal Year 2005 report on U.S. assistance and cooperative activities with Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). This was an important year for U.S. Government assistance to this region. Sixteen federal departments, agencies, and other major USG implementers obligated $636.98 million in assistance to the fifteen CEE countries as appropriated by Congress, including $357.94 million obligated from the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act account.
In accordance with the overarching goal of helping prepare these countries for eventual full integration into Euro-Atlantic structures, U.S. assistance has helped achieve important milestones. Some examples: in Albania, USG assistance supported the electoral process and civil society, helping Albanians carry out a peaceful transfer of power and thus accomplishing an important step on the path to full democratization and European Union (EU) accession. On the economic front, USG assistance helped improve the business environment for small and medium-sized enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina, strengthen banking sector institutions, and reduce that country's domestic debt burden. Finally in the sphere of security and law enforcement, USG funding helped train new magistrates and judges in Bulgaria, and addressed transparency issues in that country by helping Bulgarians amend their local laws and adopt new ethics codes.
Despite these successes, however, there is still much work that needs to be done to help empower the peoples of these regions, and further their integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. During the next fiscal year, the Office of the Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia will continue to direct and coordinate USG funding throughout the region to best fulfill U.S. foreign policy goals.
Thomas C. Adams
Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia