Press Room

Secretary of State Maria Magdalena Grigore attends the meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central European Initiative

Press release

Secretary of State Maria Magdalena Grigore attended the meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central European Initiative (CEI), held in Trieste on 12th of June 2019. The event took place under the auspices of the Italian Presidency of the CEI.

The meeting marked the celebration, in 2019, of three decades since the founding of the CEI. In this context, the meeting agenda included topics on the future of CEI in the regional cooperation architecture in Central and South-Eastern Europe.

In her speech at the plenary meeting, Secretary of State Maria Magdalena Grigore reviewed the work of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council on issues relevant to the CEI mission and its member states. The Romanian official stressed the prioritization of the enlargement of the Union in the Western Balkans and the promotion of EU cooperation with the Eastern Partnership states, both relevant themes on the CEI agenda. She underlined the Romanian political and technical support offered by Romania to the states from the region in advancing reforms in the process of getting closer to the European structures.

In this context, the Romanian official emphasized the interest for optimal use of the cooperation formats and their unique contribution to prosperity and stability in the area, based on the promotion of European values, inviting the CEI and the member states to analyze the opportunity to establish partnerships with regional fora that have similar agendas. The Secretary of State appreciated the importance that the Italian Chairmanship of the CEI and the Executive Secretariat placed on strengthening the cooperation with the European institutions, also supported by Romania and its interest in strengthening the political dialogue within the Initiative for the fulfilment of its core objective: exporting European values in the EU neighbourhood.

The Romanian official also highlighted the relevance of the European Central Initiative in all regional formats, based on the successful tradition of CEI in facilitating EU enlargement in Central and Eastern Europe and the flexible nature of the cooperation framework, both political and technical. She appreciated the CEI’s activity with direct impact for the benefit of promoting democracy, environmental protection, competitiveness, interconnection, innovation and people-to-people contacts in the Member States.

The ministerial meeting culminated in the adoption of a joint statement of the participants, a document reflecting the support of the Member States for the CEI mission in facilitating European integration in the Western Balkans and near the Eastern European countries of the European Union. Also during this meeting, the participants adopted a series of important documents for the future CEI governance, namely the decision to take over the Montenegrin Chairmanship-in-Office from 1 January 2020 and the budget projection for the coming year.

Background information:

The Central European Initiative (CEI) is a form of regional cooperation bringing together 9 EU Member States (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary) and 8 non-EU states (Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine). Romania joined the CEI on June 1, 1996 and exerted its presidency in 2009. Presently, the CEI Presidency is exercised by Italy.