The Republic of Croatia will preside over the Central European Initiative (CEI) from 1 January to 31 December 2018.
The priorities of Croatia’s presidency over the Central European Initiative (CEI) include transferring the (pre-)accession process know-how, economic cooperation, cultural cooperation, migration challenges, intensifying cooperation between the CEI and other regional and international organizations, as well as continued parliamentary cooperation.
Croatia also plans to organize several ministerial meetings and summits, meetings of national coordinators, various expert meetings and conferences. One of the goals of Croatia’s presidency is strengthening the basic aim of the CEI – supporting the European prospect of all the member countries who want to join the EU. An important segment will also be economic cooperation and one of the focuses migrations as a complex phenomenon requiring solidarity on part of the entire international community. Cultural cooperation is traditionally part of the CEI presidency –a calendar of all activities will be published soon.
The Central European Initiative is one of the oldest regional cooperation forums in the Central and Eastern Europe. It was founded in 1989 in Budapest and has 18 member countries: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Ukraine. Its Secretariat is seated in Trieste.
The primary strategic goals of the CEU are support to the member countries on their path to European integration, stimulating alignment with the EU standards, as well as implementation of small and mid-sized projects. The CEI connects multilateral diplomacy and project management, as the assistance recipient-provider, and represents a link between the EU macro-regions. Cooperation takes place through intergovernmental, inter-parliamentary and economic dimension.
Croatia has been a member of the CEI since 1992 and presided over it for the first time in 1998.