Croatia is presiding over the Central European Initiative (CEI) 1 January-31 December 2018.
One of the main goals of Croatia’s presidency is strengthening the Initiative’s basic mission – supporting the European prospect of member states that want to join the EU. Other Croatian presidency priorities include the transfer of know-how and experience in European integration, economic and cultural cooperation, the challenges of migration, intensifying cooperation between the CEI and other regional and international organizations, and maintaining parliamentary cooperation.
On 25 and 26 January 2018 in Zagreb, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs organized an expert meeting on capacity-building in the European integration process themed “Knowledge Sharing for Building Stronger Partnerships in the Process of European integration”.
Organized by the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, a professional conference was held on combined transport 29 April 2018 in Zagreb.
In the first half of June 2018, two ministerial meetings were held. Organized by the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, a meeting was held 6 June 2018 in Zagreb on the strengthening of cohesion and competitiveness through regional cooperation.
On 11 June 2018, the annual meeting of the CEI foreign ministers was held in Split, hosted by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Marija Pejčinović Burić.
The central cultural event of Croatia’s presidency was a concert held 14 August 2018 as part of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival by the principal clarinet of the Berlin Philharmonic Andreas Ottensamer and Argentinian pianist Jose Gallardo.
The traditional informal meeting of the CEI foreign ministers was held on the sidelines of the 73rd UNGA session 26 September 2018.
Zagreb 26 and 27 September 2018 hosted an international conference on “Energy Efficiency in Construction – for a Better Tomorrow”. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Construction and Spatial Planning to exchange experiences in energy efficiency, energy-efficient reconstruction and promotion of renewable energy.
On the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology 25-27 October 2018 organized a two-day international conference on “Underwater Cultural Heritage in Europe Today”. The goal was to identify key challenges, analyse their solutions, and stimulate further exploration of Europe’s rich and diverse underwater cultural heritage. The conference was organized as part of Croatia’s two current chairmanships – those of the CEI and the Council of Europe. The other event, organized by the Ministry of Tourism, was a professional conference on the “Cultural Routes of the Olive Tree as a Model of Europe’s Values, Heritage and Sustainable Development” held 14-16 November 2018 in Mali Lošinj.
The CEMAN Academic Orchestra held a concert 26 October 2018 in Zagreb’s Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, organized by the Giuseppe Tartini Conservatory. The CEMAN (Central European Music Academies Network) was founded with the aim of student and teacher exchange, as well as the promotion of historical and cultural heritage of the CEI member states.
Within parliamentary dimension, Zagreb 26 November 2018 hosted a meeting of the CEI Parliamentary Assembly on “Sustainable Tourism and Local Community – How to Strengthen Sustainability”.
The key and final event of Croatia’s presidency will be a summit of the CEI member states’ heads of government, scheduled for 3 and 4 December 2018 in Zagreb. Concurrently, the CEI Business Forum is to be held 4 December 2018, attended by representatives of the member states’ chambers of economy and other interested parties.
The CEI is one of the oldest regional cooperation forums in Central and Eastern Europe. It was founded 1989 in Budapest and has 18 member states: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Ukraine. The Initiative’s Secretariat is headquartered in Trieste.
The most important strategic goals of the Initiative are supporting the member states along their path of European integration, stimulating alignment of CEI member states with the EU standards, and implementing small and mid-sized projects. The CEI unites multilateral diplomacy and project management, as both a recipient and provider of assistance, and represents a link between the EU macroregions. Cooperation takes place via intergovernmental, inter-parliamentary and economic dimension.
Croatia is a member of the CEI since 1992. It chaired the Initiative for the first time in 1998.
More on the Central European Initiative (CEI)
Calendar of activities of Croatia’s CEI presidency
CEI Plan of Action 2018-2020
CEI Plan of Action 2018-2020 - Annex