MINSK, 12 December (BelTA) – The leadership of the Central European Initiative (CEI) highly appreciates Belarus' presidency in the organization in 2017, BelTA learned from CEI Alternate Secretary General Margot Klestil-Loffler during the meeting of the CEI heads of government on 12 December.
The CEI alternate secretary general said: “Your presidency in the CEI has made a huge contribution to improving the balanced approach [in the organization's operation]. We thank Andrei Kobyakov and Vladimir Makei for fruitful cooperation and for the support they gave us in the course of Belarus' presidency in the CEI.”
Margot Klestil-Loffler noted that a number of discussions had been held through the year to talk over matters, which absolutely all the countries are interested in and are topical in the CEI region. “It allowed us to work out future priorities. We now face most serious problems such as climate change, cyberterrorism, and illegal migration. We understand that we should set strategic goals that will help us resolve such problems,” explained the CEI alternate secretary general.
Margot Klestil-Loffler said that a CEI action plan for 2018-2020 had been prepared taking into account proposals voiced by the participating states. “It will add new dynamics to our actions. For the next three years we will prepare a roadmap and will be thankful to all the countries for active participation in this work,” she said.
The CEI alternate secretary general also pointed out plans to bolster the role of country presidency in the CEI. “It has to be done in order to improve the initiatives suggested within the framework of the Central European Initiatives among other things. Besides, we are going to use a project-oriented approach,” she explained. According to Margot Klestil-Loffler, there are plans to increase project funding within the CEI framework.
“We look forward to fruitful cooperation with Croatia, which will preside over the CEI in 2018. We hope the country will rely on continuity and will also make an active contribution to enhancing our organization,” she stated.
The main theme of the CEI meeting in Minsk on 12 December is the increasing role of CEI countries in promoting compatibility and complementarity between different integration processes in Greater Europe, including by pooling efforts to counteract new threats to stability in the region and by stepping up pragmatic economic cooperation between different integration formats.
In the course of its CEI presidency Belarus arranged a number of events, including a CEI ministerial meeting, a ministerial conference on science and technology, a CEI Parliamentary Assembly session, a ministerial conference on mutual ties and compatibility in the CEI region in correlation with the new Silk Road, meetings of the national coordinators committee and the working group on the CEI management.
The Central European Initiative was founded in 1989 to promote the development of sustainable ties between countries in Central, Western and Eastern Europe in politics, economy and culture, and also to prevent the emergence of new dividing lines in Europe. Today this regional association includes 18 countries: Austria, Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Croatia, Montenegro, and Czechia. Belarus joined the CEI in June 1996.