The Working Group mechanism is one of the main instruments of the Strategy towards the realization of its objectives. The Strategy ensures active and direct involvement of the Member Country experts in the COMCEC cooperation areas, through regular WG meetings in each cooperation area. The WGs aim at producing and disseminating knowledge, and sharing experience and good practices. They also provide a suitable platform for creating a common understanding and approximating policies among the Member Countries to overcome their common development problems.
The WGs are established for the cooperation areas defined in the COMCEC Strategy, namely trade, transport and communications, tourism, agriculture, poverty alleviation and financial cooperation. The WGs are flexible and rather informal in nature, the fact that enables them to better focus on substantive issues. They are work-oriented technical expert meetings and more practical with less procedure. They meet at least twice a year in Ankara. The activities of the WGs are reported to the Senior Officials Meeting of the annual COMCEC Ministerial Sessions.
Membership to the WGs is voluntary. The Member States willing to join certain WG shall notify in writing the COMCEC Coordination Office (CCO), indicating the public institution that will be representing the respective member country in the relevant WG meetings. The invitation letters are only sent to the Member States which have officially notified their designated institutions and focal points for the relevant WGs.
The WGs are primarily composed of representatives of member states with considerable expertise in their respective fields with, a view to producing high-quality outputs. Thus, representation of the member states in the WGs by the competent experts is crucial. A non-Member country, the OIC Institutions working in the field of economy, specialized regional or international organizations, non-governmental organizations and private sector institutions may also be invited to the WG Meetings to enrich discussions.
Each WG is convened with a specific theme. To enrich discussions during the WG Meetings, analytical studies on the theme of the respective WG Meetings and Sectoral Outlook report are prepared.
Furthermore, a special policy debate session is held in each WG Meeting to come up with concrete policy recommendations. In order to enrich the policy debate session and to better understand the state of play in the member states in terms of relevant WG theme, CCO communicates policy questions to the MCs before the WG Meetings. A Room Document, which is prepared in accordance with the main findings of the analytical studies specifically conducted for the WG meetings and the answers of the MCs to the policy questions, is also shared with MCs before the Meeting. The Room Document constitutes the basis for the discussions during the aforementioned policy debate sessions. Therefore, the WGs provide a regular platform for developing sound policy recommendations through the direct involvement of the MCs towards approximating policies among the MCs. The WGs’ policy recommendations are submitted to the annual COMCEC Ministerial Session for consideration and adoption.
All the publications and presentations made for the WGs are available on the COMCEC website under the WG Section.