Central European Initiative - Italy
"The Central European Initiative (CEI) is composed of 18 Member States: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. They embrace a territory of 2.4 million square kilometres and a population of nearly 260 million. As of 1st January 2007, the CEI has 9 EU and 9 non-EU Member Countries (the newly enlarged EU region is marked in yellow). The CEI was established in 1989 as an intergovernmental forum for political, economic and cultural co-operation among its Member States. Its main aim was to help transition countries in Central Europe come closer to the EU. In the second half of 1990’s, the extension of its membership to South-eastern and Eastern Europe refocused its priorities on countries in special need. One of CEI’s objectives is to bring the countries of Central and Eastern Europe closer together and assist them in their preparation process for EU membership."
The origin of the Central European Initiative, whose headquarters are based in Trieste, lies in the creation of the Quadrangolare in Budapest on 11 November 1989. The founding fathers were Italy, Austria, Hungary and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) but through the years other countries have been admitted into the initiative. The CEI is now the largest forum of regional cooperation among eighteen Member States of Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe and it aims at fostering political and socio-economic development in the region and at avoiding new division lines in Europe.
The CEI is oriented to assist in strengthening the capacities of its countries outside of the EU, to consolidate their institutional and economic background as well as bring them closer to the EU; it aims at achieving cohesion in areas of mutual interest and at assisting its non-EU member countries in consolidating their economic and social development. Once predominantly oriented towards policy dialogue, the CEI has progressively added economic growth and human development as pillars of cooperation with a focus on capacity building, sharing experience and know-how transfer.
The CEI strategic objectives are the following:
Support CEI Member States on their path towards European integration;
Promote the alignment of CEI Member States to EU standards;
Implement small and medium-sized projects.
In this context, the aim of the political cooperation is to supply the countries and their institutions with a flexible, pragmatic platform for regional cooperation, while focusing on their preparation to a future accession to the European Union (EU). In doing so, special attention is given to capacity building of the non-EU CEI Member States which, thanks to its ideal location, is pursued through know-how transfer and exchange of experience among those countries which are members of the EU and those which are not. The CEI is actively engaged in supporting projects in various areas of cooperation, also through the mobilisation of financial resources providing greater possibilities for studying, financing and executing national and international projects.
Amb. Margot Klestil-Löffler
CEI Alternate Secretary General
Phone: +39 40 7786 777
Fax: +39 40 7786 766, +39 40 7786 781
Ms. Slavena Radovanovic, Senior Executive Officer, Personal Assistant to CEI Alternate Secretary General
Phone: +39 40 77 86 736
Fax: +39 40 7786 766, +39 40 7786 781
Adrian Keler, Manager, Office for the CEI Fund at EBRD European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square, London EC2A 2JN, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7338 76862
Fax: +40 20 7338 6538