The annual Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Central European Initiative (CEI) was held via videoconference on 24 September 2020, under the Montenegrin CEI Presidency and in cooperation with the CEI-Executive Secretariat.

The Meeting under the topic CEI Region – Transition to a New Normal was chaired by H.E. Mr. Srđan Darmanović, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, and was attended by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs, State Secretaries as well as high representatives of CEI Member States. The Meeting was also attended by several Special Guests of the Presidency.

The Ministers reiterated CEI’s valuable role in fostering constructive political dialogue and project-oriented cooperation among 17 Member States, supporting European integration and sustainable development of the region. The Ministers committed to the importance of strong multilateral cooperation and coherence with all initiatives at a regional level in transition to a “new normal”, using the recovery phase as an opportunity for a better future for our societies.

AII Secretary General, Amb. Giovanni Castellaneta was also invited to participate to the meeting as representative of a regional organization, clearly sharing the same objectives as the Central European Initiative, namely to facilitate the integration process and to promote economic growth and prosperity in the region through concrete cooperation activities. Amb. Castellaneta recalled the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two Initiatives in the occasion of the Adriatic and Ionian Council, held in Budva on May 8th 2019 (under the AII Montenegrin Chairmanship), for a shared action for our respective regions.

In this regard, AII SG stressed that “there is room for synergies and for exchanging information and experiences between our intergovernmental / multilateral initiatives, starting with a process of bottom-up involvement of representatives of Civil Society (Municipalities, Universities, Chambers of Commerce) that the AII has always promoted through the mechanism of our Round Tables”.

Please find here the official statement.

The Ministers expressed their best wishes to Montenegro for the continuation of the CEI Presidency in 2021.