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The Ministerial Meeting of the Central European Initiative under the Italian Presidency reaffirms the importance of the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans

Sarajevo, June 13th 2019. On June 12th, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Enzo Moavero Milanesi hosted the 30th annual Ministerial Meeting of the Central European Initiative (CEI), organized in Trieste under the Italian Presidency of the CEI in 2019. The CEI was established on Italian initiative in November 1989 to offer, at the end of the Cold War in Europe, a forum for dialogue and a platform for operational cooperation through project-oriented activities in the Region. Min. Moavero Milanesi recalled that the CEI constitutes the original and consolidated assembly of the Central-Eastern European and Balkan Countries, as well as an ideal and operating bridge between people and governments of a significantly large area of the continent.

The event was attended by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Hungary, as well as by the representatives of Regional and International Organizations, including the Regional Cooperation Council. At the conclusion, attending Ministers signed the Trieste Declaration, a ten points document aimed at confirming the willingness of the Members States to intensify their cooperation on key matters such as security, including cybersecurity and combating terrorism and international crime, anti-corruption, rule of law and connectivity projects in the energy and transport sectors to promote sustainable development.

The Declaration also reaffirms the importance of the European Union enlargement to the Western Balkan region and, among other things, encourages Bosnia and Herzegovina in its way towards achieving the candidature status for the EU membership.