On 7 November 2022 the WCO conducted its third regional consultation on WCO modernization, this time with the Europe (EUR) region. Thirty-one Member administrations participated in this fully virtual consultation.
The EUR regional consultation was chaired jointly by the regional Vice-Chair, Mr. Konstantinos Mourtidis of Greece, and WCO Deputy Secretary General Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa. As was the case with the previous consultations, the discussions focused on the seven specific issues identified from an initial diagnostic prepared by the Secretariat concerning the current internal situation of the Organization and potential improvements for moving towards overall WCO modernization.
The participants from the EUR region expressed their satisfaction regarding the launch of this initiative and welcomed the emphasis placed on Members’ involvement. They contributed enthusiastically to the discussions, with open minds and a willingness to reflect on the best way forward for the Organization on the specific issues identified. While recognizing the importance of improving the Organization’s processes and procedures, participants drew attention to the positive outcomes already achieved in the past and insisted on the need to use them as a basis for future development. They considered that each proposal put forward needed to be well thought through and documented, in order to come up with efficient solutions that will bring added value to the WCO. They committed fully to supporting the work of the Secretariat in this regard and remaining active in its progress.
In his concluding remarks, the Vice-Chair for the EUR region appreciated the fruitfulness of the consultation, during which participants had brainstormed together and generated relevant ideas on the way forward. He said that this work was a shared responsibility of the Members and the Secretariat, which needed to be taken to the next level. The Deputy Secretary General thanked the Members in the EUR region for their participation and support. He recalled that the WCO was celebrating its 70th Anniversary, making the work around its modernization and reform particularly timely.
The WCO Modernization Plan is one of the key deliverables specified in the Strategic Plan 2022-2025 for responding to the needs identified in the Focus Area “Governance and accountability”. These regional consultations will be pursued, with the objective of presenting a Modernization Plan to the Policy Commission and Council in June 2023 for endorsement.