A meeting of the Central European Initiative (CEI) foreign ministers was held 11 June 2018 in Split as part of Croatia’s chairmanship of CEI, hosted by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Marija Pejčinović Burić.
The topic of the meeting was “Central European Initiative – the Future Perspective”, with special emphasis on the experiences and challenges of European integration and joint efforts in strengthening regional stability. The ministers adopted a communique, reflecting the joint assessment of the situation in the region and outlines guidelines for the future.
Pejčinović Burić highlighted that one of the main priorities of Croatia’s CEI chairmanship was supporting continued EU enlargement, as it represented a strategic investment in peace, democracy, security and stability in Europe. This support would primarily involve transferring the know-how and experiences of Croatia’s EU accession, which are also valuable to the countries wishing to join the EU as well as those wanting to strengthen their ties with it.
Other priorities include strengthening the economic and cultural cooperation, bolstering the parliamentary dimension of CEI as well as intensifying cooperation with other regional and international organizations. Special attention will be paid to the issue of migrations.
Pejčinović Burić informed the ministers about the past as well as the upcoming activities of Croatia’s CEI chairmanship.
A summit of CEI heads of government is scheduled to be held in Zagreb end-2018.
Italy will take over the chairmanship of the initiative in 2019.
On the margins of the Split meeting, Pejčinović Burić held bilateral talks with Italy’s newly-appointed foreign minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi. The two officials were willing to carry on holding dialogue and exchanging views on numerous bilateral, European and global issues of joint interest. They underlined the importance of maintaining and protecting the highest level of national minority rights, on which expert talks are to ensue.
Croatia and Italy strongly support the EU enlargement to the countries of Southeast Europe. Pejčinović Burić stressed the importance of Italy’s supporting Croatia’s joining the Schengen Area.
The communique can be read HERE.
Photo gallery: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhn2ias